citybiz+ TEDCO Leads $2 Million Seed Round for Hememics Biotechnologies

Hememics Biotechnologies, which has developed handheld devices for speedy blood tests, has closed on $2 million in a second seed round led by Maryland Technology Development. Other participants include a “strategic” investor and existing investors, as the Gaithersburg, Md.-based startup’s total fund-raise rose to $5.1 million. Prior backers include AMVI Partners, a McLean, Va.-based group of high net worth Vietnamese investors.

“I am extremely proud of what the company has achieved with the limited amount of resources,” said Hememics co-founder and CEO John Warden, Jr., who previously helmed fintech firm PierceMatrix. “We have generated extremely favorable results from more than 100,000 biosensor experiments in the past nine months. The new funding will allow us to finalize our design, receive third-party validation, and develop early commercial customers.”

‘Lab in a Hand’

Hememics was founded by the duo of Warden and Dr. David Ho, the company’s president and chief scientific officer. Ho is an expert on blood platelets, and inventor of a unique desiccation technique to preserve human cells for extended storage. Warden, besides heading a fintech firm, has business development experience with Biovista, a drug development services provider to major pharmaceutical companies.

Over the past seven years, Hememics has developed and patented what it terms “a lab in a hand” — a device capable of performing varied blood tests and delivering speedy results. Its unique technology uses graphene-based sensors, alongside patented bio-preservatives. Its rugged handheld device consists of an easy-to-use reader, built on a biochip with 32 sensors. The sensors can be individually programmed to detect molecular, antigen and antibody targets, enabling a variety of tests.

At the core of its speedy results is a HemChip with ultra-rapid detection of bacteria or proteins. Many results are available in less than five minutes and could be uploaded to a data center via cellphone, making them globally accessible. The company aims to initially target tests to detect sexually transmitted infections (STI), which is expected to be a $140 billion market globally by 2025.


The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) runs seven different programs to fuel entrepreneurship across the state. They are: Venture Funds, Seed Investment Funds, Federal programs, Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund, Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, Rural Business Innovation Initiative Fund and Social Impact Funds.

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Since 1998, TEDCO’s portfolio firms have generated more than 10,000 jobs, and made an economic impact estimated at $2.3 billion. Its portfolio companies have also contributed over $100 million in direct state and local revenue. TEDCO’s recent investments include Foretrace, SeeTrue, Linshom Medical, Warrior Centric Health and Givhero.

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TEDCO is led by executive director and CEO Troy LeMaile-Stovall, a 25-year veteran with experience in investment management, higher education, telecommunications, information technology and management consulting.

TEDCO’s recent portfolio investments include Hopr, Pathotrak, CarrTech, CyDeploy and Previse. Its recent exits include Osmosis, BurnAlong, Sworkit Health, BullFrog AI, Traitify and Longeveron.