I.Q. [Innovation Quotient] Award Winners: TAI Diagnostics Inc.

Paula North and Aoy Tomita-Mitchell

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:03 pm

TAI Diagnostics Inc.



Innovation: Diagnostic tests for organ transplants

TAI Diagnostics Inc. is a Wauwatosa-based biotech company that provides non-invasive diagnostics tests to monitor the health of transplanted organs in the patients that have received them.

The myTAI HEART test uses a small blood sample to determine if a patient is at low or increased risk of rejecting a heart transplant. It works by measuring the fraction of cell-free DNA present in the bloodstream that is attributable to the transplanted heart. An elevated donor fraction is associated with an increased risk of rejection.

“We’re looking for signs of early rejection,” said Frank Langley, chief executive officer.

The myTAI HEART test went to market during the fourth quarter of 2018.

“We have significant interest in the product,” Langley said.

TAI Diagnostics is developing similar tests for lung and kidney transplants. The lung test is in development and could launch by the end of this year. The kidney test is in clinical trials and is expected to launch in 2021.

Investor reaction to TAI Diagnostics’ innovations has been significant. So far, the company has raised a little more than $25 million in total outside funding. TAI recently launched a Series B funding round, in hopes of raising another $15 million to $20 million.

The company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Michael Mitchell and Aoy Tomita-Mitchell. Previously, they founded San Jose, California-based Ariosa Diagnostics Inc., a global molecular diagnostics company that was acquired by Switzerland-based Roche in 2015. Months later, the Mitchells came to the Milwaukee area to launch TAI Diagnostics.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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