Designing for simplicity: lessons from Mesa Biotech for microfluidic entrepreneurs and early-stage companies
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the need for point-of-care diagnosis of respiratory diseases and microfluidic technology has risen to the occasion. Mesa Biotech (San Diego, CA) originally developed the Accula platform for the diagnosis of influenza A and B and then extended the platform to SARS-CoV-2. Mesa Biotech has experienced tremendous success, culminating in acquisition by Thermo Fisher for up to $550m USD. The Accula microfluidics platform accomplished the leap from the lab to commercial product through clever design and engineering choices. Through information obtained from interviews with key Mesa Biotech leaders and publicly-available documents, we describe the keys to Mesa's success and how they might inform other lab-on-a-chip companies.