SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IDbyDNA, a precision medicine company focused on metagenomic approaches for infectious disease identification, announced today that it has closed $9 million in Series A financing. ARTIS Ventures led the round, with additional investments from ARUP Laboratories and other private investors. The funds will be used to further develop its Taxonomer-based DNA search technologies and to launch metagenomics-based clinical tests for infectious diseases.
IDbyDNA is building technologies that dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of universal microorganism detection by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The company seeks to help scientists and doctors detect any organism, in any sample. This will help to remove barriers for the adoption of metagenomics in clinical settings, and lead to faster public health responses during infectious disease outbreaks. Since the launch of Taxonomer.com for metagenomics analysis in May 2016, the company already has registered users from more than 150 academic or government institutions and corporations.
"Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death. In the U.S., healthcare-associated infections alone affect some 20 percent of hospitalized patients. This results in about $30 billion in excess medical costs annually. The key to successful, cost-effective treatment of these infections is rapid and accurate detection, especially in cases where traditional tests have proven uninformative," said Guochun Liao, PhD, co-founder and CEO of IDbyDNA. "At IDbyDNA we are creating new means for infectious disease detection. Our approach combines the latest genome science with cutting-edge computer search technologies."
IDbyDNA was founded in November 2014 by four industry veterans with track records that include pioneering genome analysis methods first used by the Human Genome Project. Guochun Liao, PhD, CEO, was a consulting professor at Stanford University, former VP Bioinformatics at Centrillion, and former head of Computational Genomics at Roche Palo Alto. Robert Schlaberg, MD, Dr Med, MPH is a medical director at ARUP Laboratories and assistant professor of Pathology at the University of Utah. Mark Yandell, PhD, is professor of Human Genetics and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair at University of Utah and co-director of the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery. Martin Reese, PhD, is the founder, president and CSO of Omicia, and former founder and president of Neomorphic, one of the first Bioinformatics companies, which was sold to Affymetrix.
"We are in the midst of another revolution within Genomics, centered around the microorganisms living on, and in us, collectively known as our microbiome," said Stuart Peterson, co-founder and senior partner at ARTIS Ventures, who led this funding round for IDbyDNA. "Although the human microbiome has long been known to influence human health and disease, with the advent of high-throughput sequencing we have only recently begun to understand and appreciate the depth of its involvement. Insights are coming together through the work of companies like IDbyDNA and analytic tools like their ultra-fast metagenomics search algorithm Taxonomer. We couldn't be more optimistic about the opportunity to back this superb team. They are pioneers within this exciting, important and emerging field."
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, IDbyDNA is developing technologies to enable universal microorganism detection. IDbyDNA's mission is to help doctors and scientists to detect any pathogen in any sample, thereby removing barriers for the adoption of metagenomics in clinical settings, ultimately leading to faster public health responses during infectious disease outbreaks. For more information about IDbyDNA, please visit http://www.idbydna.com. For Taxonomer, please visit Taxonomer.com.
About ARTIS Ventures
San Francisco-based ARTIS Ventures supports and partners with entrepreneurs who are driven to positively impact their world through disruptive technological innovation. ARTIS Ventures has led early-stage investments in a number of life sciences and health companies, including Stemcentrx, Modern Meadow, Practice Fusion and Omicia. Other notable companies the firm has backed include YouTube within new media, Palantir and Quid within big data, and Bracket Computing, Nimble Storage, Cohesity and Versa Networks within storage, compute and networking.
Founded in 2002 by Stuart Peterson and Mike Harden, ARTIS Ventures is a long-term venture partner that looks for dynamic companies to support throughout the company's entire life-cycle: initial venture investment, initial public offering and beyond. For more information, visit www.artisventures.com, follow on Facebook and Twitter @artisventures.
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