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MassDevelopment's Emerging Technology Fund Helps First Light Diagnostics, Inc. Expand in Massachusetts

June 13, 2019


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

David Macdonald, First Light Diagnostics, 858-997-9641 (cell)

First Light DiagnosticsMassDevelopment has issued a $2.5 million Emerging Technology Fund loan to First Light Diagnostics, Inc., a Chelmsford developer of automated medical diagnostic systems for rapid and cost-effective diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening multi-drug resistant infections. Leveraging its recently closed Series A-2 round of equity financing, First Light will use loan proceeds to hire additional full-time employees and expand its capabilities.

“First Light Diagnostics’ development of faster and more accurate pathogen detection and antimicrobial susceptibility tests will enable health care providers to offer treatment options to patients at a pace that’s quicker than ever,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is proud to support First Light on its path to commercialization of this innovative technology while creating jobs right here in the Commonwealth.”

MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund provides low-cost, long-term venture debt to early-stage, emerging technology companies. Since its creation in 2003, the ETF has helped cutting-edge companies grow and expand in the Commonwealth, creating jobs and strengthening the innovation economy. The ETF has closed 54 loans and guarantees totaling $79.3 million through December 31, 2018.

First Light Diagnostics’ mission is to improve the early detection of infectious disease pathogens and expedite life-saving treatment for patients with life-threatening multi-drug resistant infections. First Light is in the late stages of developing its MultiPath™ technology platform, which rapidly determines the type of infection and appropriate treatment for multi-drug resistant infections. The platform can perform pathogen identification tests within 30 minutes and antimicrobial susceptibility tests within four hours directly from a patient sample without culture. The MultiPath™ analyzer can perform testing directly from primary patient samples, such as: whole blood, stool, and urine, with other primary sample types in development.

“We are pleased to have the support of MassDevelopment at this critical point in our company’s evolution,” said David Macdonald, President and CEO of First Light Diagnostics. “This support will help us continue to build momentum toward commercialization of our market-changing platform.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.