Commitment from Cornerstone Investor LifeArc to Advance Genomics Startups in the UK
Feb. 8, 2021 — Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) has selected nine new genomics companies to join the second global funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator in the U.S. and UK. The global company creation engine, focused on partnering with entrepreneurs to build breakthrough genomics startups, invested in four companies for the second funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK and five companies for the twelfth funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area.
Today, Illumina also announces over £20 million in initial UK capital commitments have been secured from a select group of investors, including a £10 million commitment from cornerstone investor LifeArc, a leading UK independent medical research charity. The UK commitments will provide pound-for-pound match funding to every Illumina Accelerator Cambridge graduate that secures between £500,000 up to £4 million in qualified new capital, within one year of graduation.
“The UK capital commitments will be instrumental in driving value for our Illumina Accelerator Cambridge startups as they strive to unlock the power of the genome,” said Amanda Cashin, Ph.D., co-founder and Global Head of Illumina for Startups.
During two, six-month funding cycles per year, Illumina Accelerator provides the selected startups with access to seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses in Cambridge, UK or the San Francisco Bay Area. The newest companies to join Illumina Accelerator’s portfolio of genomics startups include:
Illumina Accelerator Cambridge
BiotaX Labs LTD, a spinoff from Technion Research and Development Foundation (TRDF) Israel, is harnessing the power of the microbiome to diagnose and provide effective, tailored and safe microbial treatments.
Broken String Biosciences Limited, a genomics company from Cardiff, UK, is developing a platform of novel sequencing tools to assess genome stability and to unlock the next generation of innovative medicines, including cell and gene therapies.
Mitra Bio Limited, a skin longevity company from London, UK, is building a non-invasive skin multi-omics platform to unravel skin health and delay ageing.
MultiplAI Health LTD, a diagnostics company from London, UK and Buenos Aires, Argentina, is leveraging advances in genomics and artificial intelligence to develop universal remote screening for cardiovascular diseases.
Illumina Accelerator SF Bay Area
Doloromics Inc., a pain therapeutics discovery company from Dallas, Texas, is building a proprietary platform for discovery of disease-specific pain mechanisms, biomarkers and therapeutics.
Flightpath Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company from Berkeley, California is advancing microbiome-targeted therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of rare infectious diseases.
Oshun Medical Inc., a women’s health diagnostics company from the SF Bay Area, is working to predict pregnancy complications in women around the world.
Parallel Health Inc., a skin microbiome company from the SF Bay Area, aims to revolutionize skin and body care by providing deep insights and true personalization through best-in-class testing and targeted microbial formulations.
Rubik Therapeutics, Inc., a cancer therapeutics company from Greater Boston, is leveraging computational biology and genome-wide screens to develop engineered cell therapies for solid tumor indications.
“Our newest investments demonstrate the depth and breadth of genomics applications across the globe,” said Alex Aravanis, M.D, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer at Illumina. “These nine genomics startups are focused on discovering breakthrough therapeutics, diagnostics, and direct-to-consumer applications to transform human health and beyond.”
Illumina Accelerator is accepting applications for the next global funding cycle, which are due by March 1, 2021. Through a single, global application process, Illumina Accelerator will select up to five companies in each location. To learn more and apply, please visit our website.
About Illumina for Startups
Illumina for Startups is focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry by partnering with leading venture capital investors and entrepreneurs to create, launch, and grow genomics startups. Illumina for Startups initiatives include Illumina Accelerator, founded in 2014, and Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina, launching Fall 2021. Illumina Accelerator is a company creation engine co-located with Illumina research and development sites in San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, UK. Illumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups from across the globe, which have collectively raised nearly $600 million in venture capital funding. For more information, visit our website.
Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture, and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
About Life Arc
LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines. Our success allows us to explore new approaches to stimulate and fund translation. We have our own drug discovery and diagnostics development facilities, supported by experts in technology transfer and intellectual property who also provide services to other organisations. Our model is built on collaboration, and we partner with a broad range of groups including medical research charities, research organisations, industry and academic scientists. Two funds help us to invest in external projects for the benefit of patients: our Philanthropic Fund provides grants to support medical research projects focused on the translation of rare diseases research and our Seed Fund is aimed at start-up companies focussed on developing new therapeutics and biological modalities. Find out more about our work on www.lifearc.org or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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Dr. Karen Birmingham