Sandstone Diagnostics Awarded $150,000 Federal Grant to Develop New Medical Technology

Grant will help company develop instruments for rapid detection of deadly toxins

LIVERMORE, CA – Sandstone Diagnostics, a company located in Livermore, was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop medical instruments that will rapidly determine whether or not patients have been exposed to highly toxic substances.  Sandstone’s instruments, which can diagnose infectious exposures within minutes from a small finger-stick sample of blood, will help medical practitioners make faster decisions for patients suspected of a deadly toxin infection

“Our team is extremely excited to receive this grant.  There is an urgent public health need for improved clinical diagnostics of pathogen and toxin exposure,” said Greg Sommer, co-founder and CEO of Sandstone.  “Existing clinical diagnostic approaches are inadequate, and there remain no FDA-cleared tests for many deadly toxins.  Our system can run these tests in minutes to quickly guide further treatment for improved patient prognosis. This grant provides great momentum for our young company and we are eager to bring this product to market.”

Sandstone will be partnering with scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service who have helped demonstrate the clinical performance of the system in early testing and will continue to guide and support the product development team.

Sandstone’s founders developed the company’s core point-of-care clinical diagnostics technology at Sandia National Laboratories for national defense applications before licensing the technology and launching the company in 2012.  The company is currently developing their lead product, Trak, an in-home medical device that monitors male fertility.

United States Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15) reached out to announce the award:  “I congratulate Sandstone Diagnostics in Livermore on receiving this federal grant to continue its important work to advance public health and patient care.  Sandstone is a perfect example of a private-sector company born of a tech transfer from one of our government-funded national laboratories in Livermore. I look forward to continuing my work with Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to further encourage the transfer of certain technology from the public to private sector so more companies have a chance to launch and grow our economy.”

Sandstone’s grant is a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, Award number R43AI10820601).  The content in this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Sandstone Diagnostics is a Bay Area biotech company developing instruments and consumables for point-of-care medical testing.  For more information please visit