2021 Disruptive Technology Award Finalists

Learn more about this year's finalists and their disruptive technologies:

Day Zero Diagnostics, Inc — DZD OneSeq Dx
Mammoth Biosciences — DETECTR
MeMed — MeMed COVID-19 Severity

More: View semifinalists

Day Zero Diagnostics LogoDay Zero Diagnostics, Inc



DZD OneSeq Dx

Organization Description

Day Zero Diagnostics, Inc. (DZD) is an early stage, deep tech company based out of Boston, MA. We are developing a new class of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) capable of quickly and comprehensively diagnosing severe infections, including their antibiotic susceptibility profiles. The company was founded by a team of clinicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who were frustrated and shocked by the utter lack of actionable diagnostic information available early on for patients with life threatening infections. In an era of personalized medicine, it seemed unconscionable. We saw an opportunity to take advantage of the rapid pace of evolution in sequencing technology and costs to build a modern, genomic data-based approach to infectious disease diagnostics.

Today, the company has over 35 employees focused on the development of proprietary sample preparation technologies and IVD engineering, as well as advanced artificial intelligence-based algorithms for organism ID, antimicrobial resistance profiling, and hospital outbreak detection. Our goal is to shift the hospital diagnostic workflow from a reliance on analog, culture-based technologies to a digital, sequencing-based approach to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs.

Product/Technology Summary

Day Zero Diagnostics (DZD) has developed a set of groundbreaking technologies that enable the use of whole genome sequencing to rapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively diagnose infections directly from clinical samples without the need for culture growth.

The first application is for bloodstream infections and sepsis, an area of enormous unmet clinical and economic need. The life expectancy of a patient with septic shock is 24 hours without fast effective antibiotic treatment. However, current diagnostics fail to provide a diagnosis in 40% of cases and even when they do, it can take 2-5 days to identify the pathogen and provide its antibiotic susceptibility profile.

Without a way to accurately diagnose an infection early, physicians are forced to “carpet bomb” patients with a cocktail of powerful, yet toxic, broad-spectrum antibiotics. This strategy exposes sick patients to excess toxicity, can lead to significant morbidity and mortality, and is still ineffective in 30% of cases due to the rise of antibiotic resistant organisms.

At DZD, we have developed a set of breakthrough capabilities that can provide a complete diagnosis, including both the species ID and antibiotic susceptibility profile, in hours vs. days. Our technology enables the unprecedented recovery of pathogen whole genome sequences directly from clinical samples that may contain up to a billion times more human DNA. Our algorithms then interpret the genomic data to provide accurate, comprehensive organism ID and antibiotic susceptibility profiles. DZD enables a targeted treatment on day zero of hospital admission, resulting in better patient outcomes and cost savings.


Mammoth Biosciences LogoMammoth Biosciences




Organization Description

Mammoth Biosciences, Inc. is harnessing the diversity of nature to power the next generation of CRISPR products. Through the discovery and development of novel CRISPR systems, the company is enabling the full potential of its platform to read and write the code of life. By leveraging its internal research and development and exclusive licensing to patents related to Cas12, Cas13, Cas14, and CasΦ, Mammoth Biosciences can provide enhanced diagnostics and genome editing for life science research, healthcare, agriculture, biodefense, and more. Based in Brisbane, California, Mammoth Biosciences is co-founded by Nobel Prize winner and CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna as well as Trevor Martin, Janice Chen, and Lucas Harrington. The firm is backed by top institutional investors including Decheng, Mayfield, NFX, and 8VC, and leading individual investors including Brook Byers, Tim Cook, and Jeff Huber.

Product/Technology Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the urgent need for high quality diagnostic tools that provide both rapid and accurate results. Traditional molecular diagnostics offers the highest performance, but it traditionally requires large, expensive laboratory machines and trained technicians to operate. Lateral flow-based diagnostics offer a low-cost, decentralized, and scalable option that can be administered closer to the patient, but they lack the performance capability needed for high accuracy.

Mammoth Biosciences catalyzed a new approach to molecular diagnostics, called DETECTR. Based on CRISPR, this programmable platform acts as a search engine for biology and is capable of finding and identifying any nucleic acid sequence in the genome.

Using proprietary technology licensed exclusively from the University of California, Berkeley and developed internally, Mammoth is working on multiple form factors and test targets from infectious diseases to cancer. For example, DETECTR was configured in less than two weeks to detect SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating the platform’s ability to be quickly tailored to identify any DNA or RNA target. The resulting product, DETECTR BOOST, is a reagent kit that when combined with standard laboratory automation provides labs with unparalleled high throughput molecular testing.


MeMed LogoMeMed



MeMed COVID-19 Severity

Organization Description

At MeMed, a leader in host response technologies, we decode the body’s complex signals into simple insights that improve people’s lives. By leveraging our expertise in host-response profiling and machine-learning algorithms, we are creating a portfolio of tests that address tough clinical dilemmas. Importantly, with the support of public and private partnerships, we have developed a point-of-need, rapid measurement platform called MeMed Key to ensure timely availability of these novel tests during the clinician’s decision-making workflow.

Our lead product, MeMed BV, accurately differentiates bacterial from viral (BV) infection, enabling improved patient management, including appropriate antibiotic use, in order to help address the global healthcare challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Based on computational integration of bacterial and viral-responsive immune proteins, Key delivers the BV result in 15 minutes from serum. This test was clinically validated on thousands of patients, is CE-marked and 510(k) pending.

Another pivotal question that the clinician considers during the fever encounter is will this patient deteriorate? Accordingly, to meet the urgent need during the ongoing pandemic of risk stratifying COVID-19 patients, we are developing MeMed COVID-19 Severity. Also run on Key in 15 minutes and the focus of this application, this new tool provides a score predicting the likelihood of a severe outcome and if care escalation should be considered.

MeMed’s headquarters are in Israel, with a subsidiary in the U.S. MeMed’s international team exemplifies bio-convergence, encompassing experts in molecular immunology, bioinformatics, assay development, engineering, and infectious disease. Currently, commercial, sales, and service divisions are being expanded to support launch.

Product/Technology Summary

To meet the urgent need of risk stratifying SARS-CoV-2-positive patients, we are developing MeMed COVID-19 Severity, an easily interpretable host-protein signature that includes viral-induced proteins. By encompassing viral pathways, it enables insight into the immune dysregulation associated with COVID-19 disease progression, diverging from the mainstream attention to individual bacterial severity markers. Our technology is an objective, broadly applicable, and accurate tool for deciding which adult COVID-19 patients are likely to deteriorate and need escalation of care.

Beyond its clinical value in improving patient outcomes, hospitals may possibly derive operational and economic benefits from the technology, such as: better resource allocation; cost savings through decreased length of stay of COVID-19 patients; and outpatient service revenues from discharged COVID-19 patients who would otherwise have been admitted.

Importantly, MeMed COVID-19 Severity runs in 15 minutes using serum on MeMed Key, a platform capable of measuring multiple proteins across a wide dynamic range with laboratory precision. Accordingly, our technology is uniquely relevant to COVID-19 disease, providing actionable and prognostic test results during the clinician’s decision-making workflow.