San Diego, California-based Illumina, a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, has chosen nine genomics companies to invest in for its Illumina Accelerator in the U.S. and U.K.
The accelerator, which Illumina dubs a “global company creation engine,” partners with entrepreneurs to help them build breakthrough gemonics startups. The latest round of selections includes four companies for the second funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, U.K. and five companies for the twelfth funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area.
Of the new companies in Illumina Accelerator’s portfolio, only one is close to home.
Dallas-based Doloromics, a pain therapeutics discovery company, will be part of the Illumina Accelerator SF Bay Area.
Doloromics aims to find better ways to treat chronic pain. To do so, the innovative team uses computational techniques that can analyze genomic sequencing data from human patients.
That research involves two methods: examining existing datasets using Doloromics’ proprietary algorithms to identify novel drug-targets, and finding biomarkers in chronic pain patients that can assist in identifying individualized treatment options. According to Doloromics, its platform is currently being built to discover disease-specific pain mechanisms, biomarkers, and therapeutics.
Joining Doloromics in the Illumina Accelerator SF Bay Area is Flightpath Biosciences, a California biotech working to advance microbiome-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of rare infectious diseases; Oshun Medical, a women’s health diagnostics company based in the Bay Area that aims to predict pregnancy complications; Parallel Health, a skin microbiome company from the Bay Area using deep insights and personalization to revolutionize skin and body care; and Boston-based Rubik Therapeutics, which is developing engineered cell therapies for solid tumor indications.
“Our newest investments demonstrate the depth and breadth of genomics applications across the globe,” Alex Aravanis, the chief technology officer at Illumina, said in a statement. “These nine genomics startups are focused on discovering breakthrough therapeutics, diagnostics, and direct-to-consumer applications to transform human health and beyond.”
The Illumina Accelerator will provide the startups with access to seed investment and Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents. The entrepreneurs will also be offered business guidance, genomics expertise, and the opportunity to use fully operational lab space adjacent to an Illumina campus.
The accelerator, founded in 2014, is an initiative of Illumina for Startups, which focuses on “creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry,” according to the company. It’s co-located with Illumina’s research and development sites in San Francisco and Cambridge.
So far, lllumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups from around the world. Collectively, they have raised some $600 million in VC funding.
The accelerator is currently accepting applications on its website for the next global funding cycle, due March 1.
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