Cypher Genomics to bring their interpretation technology to bear on Human Longevity’s extensive genomics database.

Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) have amassed the largest and most comprehensive database of genomic and phenotypic data in the world, and now they have the technology to process and analyse it. This week Craig Venter’s La Jolla-based startup announced their acquisition of bioinformatics company Cypher Genomics. 

“Cypher Genomics has created important automated and scalable genome interpretation technology informed by additional expertise in genetics and biology that we believe will be invaluable to HLI’s business. The Cypher team, led by Dr. Ashley Van Zeeland, is a very impressive group of scientists who will be crucial in augmenting HLI’s already unparalleled and comprehensive genomic database business,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Human Longevity.

Cypher Genomics have come a long way from their origins in the Scripps Translational Science Institute. The core of their product offering are Mantis and Coral, proprietary software packages that allow for comprehensive and unbiased interpretation of sequence data. These products can work through petabytes of data generated by whole genome sequencing to find the variations that spell the difference between health and disease, and they have had some high profile successes.

In 2013 Cypher and Scripps were able to identify two mutations in the genome of San Diego teenager Lilly Grossman that were associated with her lifelong tremors and seizures. While this information could not cure Lilly, it lead to a change in her drug regimen that has had a huge impact on her quality of life. The company were also finalists in the bidding process to join Genomics England as a clinical interpretation partner for the 100,000 Genomes Project. Ultimately that accolade was claimed by WuXi NextCODE.

“At Cypher we saw an unmet need for automated interpretation of human genome sequencing data. We developed Mantis and Coral to provide rapid, automated, genome interpretation at scale enabling disease gene identification, population-based studies, diagnostic development and biomarker identification,” said Dr. Van Zeeland.  “We look forward to joining the HLI team and to helping advance HLI’s mission of applying the power of human genomics and informatics to improve healthcare.”

More on these topics