Illumina accelerater announces third round of funding for genomics start ups.

Illumina have announced the latest round of start up companies that will be joining the Illumina Accelerator. Female reproductive health and the skin microbiome are just some of the research areas covered by the new intake, who will gain access to seed investment and business advice from the sequencing giant. 

“Illumina Accelerator continues to propel talented entrepreneurs by providing unparalleled resources to help advance their genomics startups,” said Amanda Cashin, Ph.D., co-founder and Head of Illumina Accelerator. “The quality and diversity of our four newest investments is an indicator of the potential impact of genomics in a range of different fields. We’re thrilled to have such an inspiring group join us for round three.”

Since being established in October 2014, the Accelerator has given a leg up to six different companies in two separate funding rounds. Past start ups in receipt of Illumina’s golden handshake include Encoded Genetics, PathoGn, Inc, Biome Makers Inc and Urology Diagnostics Incorporated.

“During our six months at Illumina, we formed a single-digit million-dollar partnership with a large pharmaceutical company, generated 15 TB of sequencing data, and advanced our internal pipeline programs,” a spokesperson for Encoded Genomics said.

The companies accepted into this latest funding round are:

  • MetaMixis, Inc., a synthetic biology company spun out of The University of British Columbia, is specializing in the rapid discovery of enzymes and pathways to produce bio-based materials and chemicals.
  • NextGen Jane, Inc., a novel med-tech company based on technology developed at Harvard University, is offering women insights into their reproductive health through a genomics-driven approach to tracking biological changes predictive of disease.
  • Skinomics, Inc., a skin microbiome company formed by faculty members from the University of California, Los Angeles, is harnessing genomics information from the cutaneous microbiome to create advances in skin care, with a current focus on acne.
  • Vitagene, Inc., a health technology company, is leveraging genomic science to offer physicians a platform for data-driven care and delivers highly customized products and services for optimal health.

“Illumina Accelerator is pleased to have such a promising group of startups join our growing genomics community,” said Mostafa Ronaghi, Ph.D., Illumina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Illumina Accelerator. “We’re here to provide access to our best-in-class sequencers, a support team of genomics professionals and entrepreneurial coaches, and the tools each of these startups need to advance breakthrough applications in genomics.”

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