SAN FRANCISCO — IDbyDNA, a precision medicine company focused on metagenomic approaches for infectious disease identification, 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