Healthcare investor Triventures backs genomics company Genoox in $6 million funding round
Genoox, a genomic analytics company that aims to make it easier for clinicians and researchers to act on genetic sequencing results, today announced it has secured $6 million in a funding round. The round was led by Triventures, a venture capital fund that invests in healthcare startups, and was joined by Inimiti Capital and Glilot Capital Partners.
As the appetite for direct-to-consumer genetic testing services grows, the $5 billion global market is witnessing an increase in demand for testing services that empower physicians to use genetic data for diagnostics and preventative medicine.
Also this week, Intermountain Healthcare announced that it is expanding its RxMatch pharmacogenomics service and making it available to all providers in the system. Geisinger said last week it intends to one day offer all patients DNA sequencing and is beginning the effort with a pilot program involving 1,000 people. Last week, the Mayo Clinic said it will store some 35 million biospecimens as part of the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us research program, which kicked off its initial pilot phase on May 6.
The introduction of next-generation sequencing technology by companies such as Genoox, which employ machine learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of genetic data to enable precision medicine, is transforming this market from point testing solutions to broader tests that can cover large parts of the genome, Genoox officials said.
"With the advancement of NGS, it is easier and more cost effective to have more patients than ever sequenced and screened for underlying genetic conditions," said Genoox CEO Amir Trabelsi. "However, while sequencing technology has advanced, the next challenge lies in how to interpret and apply this data, and make it actionable for the patient."
The Genoox platform analyzes complex genetic data and runs these data points through a proprietary search engine that combines the company's database with multiple public databases in order to provide more personalized, actionable recommendations.
"For clinicians, the question is, 'What can I do for this patient today?'" Trabelsi said. "We can help the treating clinician get to an accurate answer faster than ever before."
For example, a child with an unidentified, rare disease can now have their DNA rapidly sequenced in order to determine a possible genetic cause. However, the rapid pace of new clinical research publications and reference literature make it nearly impossible for clinicians to keep pace and find the "needle in the haystack" – the clinical condition that is a perfect match with the specific genetic alteration.
"Our technology helps the clinician to sort through complex genetic data, clinical publications, phenotypes and family history in order to provide a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan," Trabelsi said.
Additionally, Genoox allows users across research and medical facilities to securely share complex research using a set of customizable tools, and identify variants and mutations that have never been found before.
Genoox advances precision medicine by helping clinicians understand and treat the root of the disease and not just the symptoms, he added. Especially for patient populations such as children, who can't always vocalize their symptoms, Genoox peels back the layers to understand a person's genome – what's causing the disease, how to best treat it – based on a person's unique DNA.
In the past year, Genoox has grown its customer base, the company said, and initiated partnerships with medical centers and research facilities, including the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children's National Medical Center and the University of Michigan. In April, Genoox partnered with Bionano Genomics to create an integrated platform that enhances the detection of disease-causing structural variants in DNA.
HIMSS Precision Medicine Summit
Accelerating precision medicine to the point of care is focus of summit in Washington, D.C. May 17-18.