US-based Helix, the leading population genomics and COVID-19 testing company raised US$ 50M in a Series C funding round on 5 June 2021.
Investors: The funding round was led by existing investors Warburg Pincus, DFJ Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Mayo Clinic and Temasek.
Purpose of the funding: The funds raised will be utilized towards accelerating the organization’s population genomics platform across health systems, life sciences companies and payers. It will be also used to boost its growing COVID-19 testing and viral surveillance efforts.
Founded in 2015 by James Lu, Justin Kao and Scott Burke, Helix is a population genomics company that is working to advance genomics research and integrate genomic data into clinical care with its end-to-end platform. It uses a unique “Sequence Once, Query Often™” model through which an individual’s DNA can be collected, sequenced and securely stored once, while continuously allowing access to the genomic data and insights.
Helix’s proprietary Exome+ assay sequences approximately 20,000 protein-coding genes and 300,000 informative non-coding regions, thus creating a robust genomic profile. The data is used by health systems, life sciences companies and payers to power innovative population health programs, helping them to improve health outcomes, increase patient engagement and accelerate innovative research. Helix’s viral surveillance is also helping organizations in detecting, characterizing, and better understanding the impact of emerging strains of COVID-19.
In January 2021, the Helix Laboratory Platform was awarded the first and only FDA authorization for a whole-exome sequencing platform.
What the CEO has to say: “Understanding the genomic make-up of individuals is leading the advancement of more personalized, customized health offerings. And the novel FDA pathway we created for our Helix Laboratory Platform means that Helix and our partners will be able to develop and obtain market authorization for future tests using subsets of sequencing data generated from the platform, including for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and carrier screening.” — James Lu, MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Helix.
What the investors have to say: “In healthcare, the goal is to achieve more personalized, preventative and population-based healthcare. A central part of this is identifying people at risk for genetic conditions earlier and more broadly. Helix has a proven and tested platform for generating high-quality genomic data, securing it, and making it portable so that it can provide a lifetime of insights to health systems, life sciences companies, and payers all working toward a healthier world.” — Amr Kronfol, managing director at Warburg Pincus.
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