Philadelphia’s Invisible Sentinel
continues to grow more visible.
Back in October, Keystone Edge reported
that the company was launching its core product, Veriflow, a rapid diagnostic test to detect foodborne pathogens.
Last month, Veriflow was approved for detection of Salmonella. Earlier this year, it added Listeria. Invisible Sentinel now covers more than 90 percent of the food safety test market, says Ben Pascal, chief business officer and co-founder with Nick Siciliano.
The Salmonella approval is especially significant. The bacteria can be found (spoiler alert!) in ready-to-eat foods, deli meats, dairy products and on preparation surfaces. It accounts for 42,000 reported cases of food poisoning annually (though the actual number may be far higher) and 400 deaths.
In January, Invisible Sentinel announced a partnership with Jackson Family Wines
in Sonoma, California, to develop a diagnostic tool for Brettanomyces, a yeast that can foul the taste of wine and give it an odor sometimes described as "barnyard-y" (hardly a desirable bouquet). Pennsylvania Bio
nominated the partnership for its Deal of the Year award. (PA Bio also presented Paul Touhey, Invisible Sentinel’s executive chairman, with its 2014 Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Leadership Award.)
Invisible Sentinel recently closed on a $7 million private stock deal -- according to Pascal, those funds are being used to ramp up manufacturing and outfit the new corporate headquarters at West Philadelphia's University City Science Center
. The company is moving one floor up into 7,500 square feet to accommodate increased production, R&D and corporate offices.
On the R&D side, the company is working on diagnostics for E.coli and on other applications in the craft brewing and wine industries.
The company currently has 21 people on the payroll (19 in Philadelphia), and Pascal expects to add another five to 10 this year.
"This has been a big year for us," he adds. "Last year was about coming out of the gate. Now there is significant demand for our products and we are scaling to meet future demand."
Source: Ben Pascal, Invisible Sentinel
Writer: Elise Vider