Top 5 Genomics Startups Disrupting Healthcare

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The growing demand for improved delivery of healthcare and lower costs is accelerating technological innovation in healthcare. 

Genomics is becoming an increasingly common tool within the healthcare system as health organisations better understand how to extract the value from patients’ genetic data. 

Who is seizing this opportunity? Tech startups. Using artificial intelligence, digital therapeutics, and genomics, these (below)  are the top five startups that are disrupting US healthcare, according to Business Insider’s Intelligence Report

 

Top 5 Genomics Startups Disrupting HealthcareFreenome is a health technology company reinventing disease management through systematised early detection and intervention.

Since 2014, the company has been using a combination of machine learning, biology and computer science to create simple and effective disease screenings. 

Earlier this year, the AI genomics company said it was partnering with proteomics company Biognosys, to enhance its broad-signal approach to early-cancer detection and precision oncology. And just last month, it said it was conducting the first clinical validation study of an AI-genomics blood test, a major milestone on its path toward a commercially available screening test. 

 

Helix is an Illumina spinout that launched back in 2017. The company collects and sequences a DNA sample once, and then stores it and protects the customer’s data so that they can access additional DNA-powered products and services from the Helix store, without providing another saliva sample.

The Helix store includes 35 products from 20 partners and that number is expected to grow to more than 50 products in 2018, following major launches including new products from partners like the Mayo Clinic. 

CEO, Robin Thurston believes that by doing all that dirty work, the marketplace will democratise DNA, making it possible for developers to make new personalised genetics products without huge amounts of up-front capital.

In March, the company raised $200 million from venture capitalists to aid it in its marketing battle with 23andMe and Ancestry, the leaders in the consumer genetics space. 

And in April, they showed 23andMe that they are serious competition when they announced that they will soon start selling tests for severe genetic diseases. 

 

Karius is a blood testing company, and is known for being able to detect more than 1,000 infectious diseases by analysing fragments of DNA in the blood.

The company was founded in 2014 to improve patient outcomes by transforming infectious disease diagnosis through precision genomics.

Last year, it raised $55 million, including a sizable $50 million Series A in August that included the likes of Khosla and Chinese tech giant Tencent. 

One of their success stories is when the company was able to help diagnose a three-year-old child with rat-bite fever in just one day, a diagnosis that might have taken months using standard procedures. However, the technology is still in its testing phase, and costs  $2,000 ago, so whatever you have better be pretty bad. 

Karius has several clinical trials and collaborations in progress and has presented data regarding the use of the Karius test across several applications. 

 

Genoox is a genomics analysis company that’s geared toward doctors, clinicians and researchers that hopes to lower the cost of getting data from gene sequencing, and speed that process up, in the same ways that 23andMe and Color have done for consumers. 

The company claims to be unique in its ability to simplify data management and interpretation, driving broader adoption of genomic information in patient treatment decisions by accelerating the collection, analysis and application of genetic sequencing data worldwide. 

 

Verge Genomics is a drug discovery company utilising machine learning to develop new therapeutics. 

Founded in 2015, the company has raised $4 million so far and is working on development with several pharmaceutical companies.

According to the founder, Alice Zhang, who was featured in the 2017 30 Under 30 Science list, the startup is a “standout in the long line of biotechs that think merging the latest in computer science with new technologies for decoding the human genetic code.”