Illumina San Diego

Illumina Accelerator, the genomics-focused startup accelerator backed by the publicly traded Illumina, has revealed that it’s picked five startups for its seventh accelerator class. 

The lucky few will have access to the company’s genomics and sequencing expertise, business coaching, lab and office space and an infusion of capital, writes Tech Crunch. Various technologies have been selected that will address skin microbial therapeutics, fertility science, chronic disease alleviation, post-traumatic stress disorder treatments, and services for the biopharmaceutical and clinical research industries. 

“At Illumina Accelerator, we provide entrepreneurs focused on breakthrough genomic sequencing applications key resources for success,” said Mostafa Ronaghi, Illumina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Illumina Accelerator. “The selected companies receive advice and expertise to help guide strategies in business and financing, team building and more. Together, with our accomplished group of graduates, our newest investments are working to advance breakthrough applications in genomics, including therapeutics, diagnostics, and direct-to-consumer applications.”

Those included in the program are:

  • DermBiont, a drug discovery, and development company developing skin microbial therapeutics
  • MedAnswers, which is using big data and genetics to match would-be parents with a curated network of fertility experts and solutions to achieve healthier fertility outcomes, faster
  • Mediphage Bioceuticals, based on research from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, this company is developing phage-based therapies to develop cures for chronic diseases
  • TruGenomix Health, is a genomics company focused on advancing the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Unite Genomics, a data science spinout from Berkeley’s RISELab, uses machine learning for large-scale genomic analyses that can be applied in the biopharmaceutical and clinical research studies.

Being offered as an added perk, accelerator companies will also get access to Helix, the Illumina-affiliated genomics product marketplace that’s aiming to close out the year with approximately $300 million in total financing. 

“Through our collaboration with Illumina Accelerator, we hope to provide innovative startups like MedAnswers access to Helix’s team of experts in bioinformatics, applied genomics, product development, and consumer marketing to help transform their ideas into compelling consumer applications and services that make genomics relevant and accessible to all,” said Justin Kao, co-founder and Senior Vice President of Helix. 

Companies that are selected for the seed investment program, receive backing for the accredited investor through a convertible note and dollar-for-dollar matching funding through Illumina’s $40 million Accelerator Boost Capital. Applications for the eighth cohort are open now and due by May 1.