Company Currently Distributing Diagnostic Kits in U.S., Exploring Additional COVID-19 Opportunities
Other Koa Accel Portfolio Companies Achieving Significant Milestones
IRVINE, California – April 22, 2020 – Medtech hyper-accelerator Koa Accel has announced its newest portfolio company – Kahala Biosciences – built from the ground up in four weeks to counter the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the U.S. by meeting the nation’s urgent demand for effective and widely available testing.
“When this pandemic hit our country, we responded quickly to help fill the need for more testing, going from company creation to our first sale in only a month,” said Dr. Francis Duhay, CEO of Kahala Biosciences and Co-Founder of Koa Accel. “We have identified several diagnostic needs in the Covid-19 space and are exploring additional opportunities under the Kahala umbrella that may further contribute to containing the disease and enabling our country to get back to work.”
Currently, Irvine-based Kahala Biosciences has partnered with Salt Lake City-based Co-Diagnostics, Inc. to distribute the Logix SmartTM COVID-19 Test, a globally validated SARS- CoV-2 test for Covid-19. The test received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA on April 6th, 2020 and is currently available. The fast and accurate Logix Smart test can facilitate the processing of up to 382 patient samples per hour, has demonstrated 100 percent sensitivity and specificity, and is compatible with standard, widely available instruments.
“In the case of Kahala, we founded and invested in the company ourselves. However, for the rest our portfolio companies, we partner closely with an inventor or patent holder and provide an expert team to actually build the business for them, along with an initial investment,” said Ray Chan, Chairman and Co-Founder of Koa Accel. “In either case, speed is the hallmark of our work. By moving quickly, we utilize fewer resources to achieve milestones, which de-risks the venture and creates a better return for our investors.”
The unique Koa Accel model is based on the rapid deployment of a team of medtech veterans and experts – led by Dr. Francis Duhay – with deep knowledge and experience in all aspects of medical device development to build each company in concert with the founder. The Koa hyper-acceleration process is designed to compress medical device development timelines leading to FDA clearance by 60 percent, thereby reducing costs by 75 percent, increasing the likelihood of a successful exit, and safeguarding investor equity.
A prime example of the Koa Accel approach at work is its portfolio company, Makani Sciences, developer of the only wireless, wearable sensor designed to continuously monitor a patient’s breathing rate and pulmonary volumes during medical or dental procedures. Koa Accel began working with Makani Sciences in early 2019 and has already partnered with Fortune Global 500 company Wistron (TPE:3231) on product development and manufacturing, and is on track for FDA 510(k) clearance in the first quarter of 2021 – all within two years of becoming a portfolio company.
Koa Accel intends to add one new medical device company to its portfolio each quarter.
About Koa Accel, LLC:
Headquartered in the medtech hub of Orange County, California, Koa Accel is on a mission to transform life-saving medical device ideas into vibrant commercial ventures. Rather than “incubate” or ”accelerate” companies in the classic sense, Koa Accel embeds an expert team experienced in every area of medical device development into its portfolio companies. The process is designed to develop medical devices faster, at a lower cost and with a greater likelihood of a successful exit than companies can do alone, while safeguarding investor equity.
Koa Accel is led by partners Dr. Francis Duhay, a world renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and former Chief Medical Officer of Edwards Lifesciences, and Ray Chan, a prominent investor, successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, who serves as Managing Director of K5 Ventures and as a member of the Investment Committee for Tech Coast Angels’ ACE funds.
Chronic Communications, Inc.
Koa Accel Venture Fund