Branford BioMed Company Develops Handheld, Rapid COVID-19 Test

BRANFORD, CT — Tangen Biosciences, a molecular diagnostics company in Branford, has created a portable, handheld rapid testing device called Gene Spark that can detect the virus that causes COVID-19, among many other pathogens.

Tangen co-founder and chief scientific officer John Davidson said the biosciences company has created the “perfect tool to fight the Covid virus – a highly accurate 30-minute result communicated while the patient is there with immediate dissemination of the result to public health authorities.”

Thursday state Sen. Christine Cohen, state Rep. Robin Comey and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy visited the Commercial Street company, praising its new diagnostic device.

“Not only was this device conceived here, but it is manufactured here in Connecticut,” Comey said. “This is the kind of innovation we need and it’s happening right here in Branford.”

Cohen said Tangen expects to have its test to be widely available very soon with a 30-min result and because of their testing method, over 90 percent accurate.

“This is really going to be instrumental for nursing homes and doctor’s offices worldwide. This device is made right here in Connecticut and much of what is needed for the test itself is manufactured onsite at Tangen in Branford,” she said. “They have grown exponentially since I visited them last summer and are creating jobs and opportunity for our district, while helping to provide important life-saving diagnoses. Grateful for these innovators, especially during these challenging times.”

“Tangen is Connecticut innovation at its best. Since its founding, Tangen has worked tirelessly to make diagnosis easy for patients and doctors, and the company has stepped up in a major way to help our country in the fight against COVID-19,” Murphy said last week when naming the company ‘Innovator of the Month.’

“For us to be on the other side of this pandemic, it is going to take the ingenuity and resources of everyone, and Tangen’s innovative and forward thinking COVID-19 and flu tests will go a long way in helping us manage those viruses and get our country back on track,” he said.

Tangen received a near-$700,000 federal contract to create the portable test device for the SARS virus that causes COVID-19.

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