CTIC Capital Announces 2nd Annual Cross-Border China-US Healthcare Investment Summit Attracting More Than 150 Chinese Healthcare Investors

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PALO ALTO, Calif.Jan. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — CTIC Capital today announced that Randy, W. Schekman, Nobel laureate, the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, will serve as the keynote for its second annual CTIC Capital Cross-Border Healthcare Investment Summit, co-hosted by BioCentury. Convening more than 150 Chinese healthcare investors, the Summit will be held on Sunday, January 7, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Dr. Schekman’s presentation is entitled, “Prospects for Use of Exosomes in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment.” http://www.cticcapital.com/2018-healthcare-investment-summit/

 “The 2018 CTIC Capital Cross-Border Healthcare Investment Summit serves as the definitive place for Chinese and US investors and executives to network, collaborate and build partnerships,” said Yanhong Lin, Founder and Managing Partner, CTIC Capital. “Building on the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural Summit which was the most well-attended event during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference by top Chinese investors, this year’s conference has attracted the top Chinese healthcare investment firms and pharmaceutical companies, and our Chinese investment speakers are the most sought-after investors in China. Our agenda is jam-packed and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Attendees at the event will participate in motivating keynote and panel discussions from an impressive array of speakers, partnering opportunities with a 1:1 ratio between investors and company executives, and startup competitions. New features of this year’s Summit include:

  • Extended time for one-on-one partnering systems mobile app that facilitates communications between investors and company executives
  • Each of the six companies out of hundreds of applications will present and be evaluated by one investor with the goal of providing insights into the industries and elements to be a successful investment project from Chinese investors’ perspective

“The US is the most innovative country for healthcare technologies and I am most excited about the opportunity to meet company executives and potential partners at CTIC Capital’s event,” commented Xiaobao Lu, Partner, Sequoia Capital China.

Partial confirmed participating investors include: 3E Bioventures, AbbVie, Ally Bridge Group, Bayer, Berry Genomics, BioSciKin, Button Capital, Canaan, CD Capital, CDH Venture, CLI Ventures, Cloudstone Ventures, CRV, Cybernaut Investment Group, daVinci Capital Group, Decheng Capital, Delos Capital, Dian Diagnostics, DigitalDx Ventures, Flagship Pioneering, Fosun Healthcare Holdings, Fosun Pharma, FountainVest Partners, Foxconn Healthcare Group, GF Investments, GF Xinde Investment Company, Good Health Capital, Hemi Ventures, Hermed Capital, Hopu Capital, IDGVC, InterWest Partners, Khosla Ventures, KPCB China, LDV Partners, Legend Capital, Life Science Angels (LSA), Lilly Asia Ventures, Lumira Capital, Lyfe Capital, Marathon venture partners, Milestone Capital, Morningside Ventures, Northern Light Venture Capital, Ping An Bank, Ping An Ventures, Qilu Pharmaceuticals, Qiming Venture, Sangel Capital, SANOFI, SanPower Group, Sequoia Capital China, Shanghai Jianxin Capital Management, Silicon Valley Future Capital, Teng Yue Partners, Tianjin Ren Ai Group, Top Tier Capital Partners, Virtus Inspire Ventures, VMS Investment Group, Wondfo, YF Capital, Yimei Capital, Zhejiang Grand Health Industry Equity Investment Fund.

Event sponsors include:
Converge Minds, H. C. Wainwright & Co., Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Sequoia Capital China, East West Bank, PitchBook, LYFE Capital, Sangel Capital, Moss Adams, and China-US Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

About CTIC Capital
CTIC Capital is a Silicon Valley based boutique private equity consulting firm focusing on healthcare, Internet technology and alternative energy. Leveraging our trans-pacific network and local expertise, we help US and Chinese enterprises in funding, M&A and strategic partnership development. Our goal is to be the trusted partner for US and Chinese enterprises in their cross-border investments and business expansion. Visit www.cticcapital.com for more information.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ctic-capital-announces-2nd-annual-cross-border-china-us-healthcare-investment-summit-attracting-more-than-150-chinese-healthcare-investors-300576533.html

CTIC Capital宣布将举行第二届年度跨境中美医疗投资峰会

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云集150多位中国医疗投资者的第二届年度 CTIC Capital 跨境医疗投资峰会将于2018年1月7日(周日)在旧金山凯悦酒店举行。届时,2013年诺贝尔理学与医学奖得主、加州大学伯克利分校分子与细胞生物学教授兰迪-谢克曼将发表主题演讲。

加州帕洛阿尔托2018年1月4日电 /美通社/ — CTIC Capital 今天宣布,在其与 BioCentury 联合举办的第二届年度 CTIC Capital 跨境医疗投资峰会 (CTIC Capital Cross-Border Healthcare Investment Summit) 上,2013年诺贝尔理学与医学奖 (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine) 得主、加州大学伯克利分校 (University of California, Berkeley) 分子与细胞生物学教授兰迪-谢克曼 (Randy, W. Schekman) 将发表主题演讲。该峰会云集150多位中国医疗投资者,将于2018年1月7日(周日)在旧金山凯悦酒店 (Hyatt Regency San Francisco) 举行。谢克曼博士的演讲题为“关于在癌症诊断与治疗中使用外来体的前景”(Prospects for Use of Exosomes in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment)。本次峰会的网址为:http://www.cticcapital.com/2018-healthcare-investment-summit/

CTIC Capital 创始人兼执行合伙人 Yanhong Lin 表示:“2018年 CTIC Capital 跨境医疗投资峰会将成为中美投资者与高管开展交流、合作并建立业务关系的最终舞台。以去年首届峰会 — 摩根大通医疗保健大会 (JP Morgan Healthcare Conference) 期间中国投资者参与最多的活动 — 取得巨大成功为基础,今年的峰会已经吸引了顶尖的中国医疗投资公司和制药公司,并且我们的中国投资演讲者是中国最受欢迎的投资者。我们的日程排满,我们为此激动不已。”

本届峰会的参与者将参加来自于一系列令人印象深刻的演讲者的鼓舞人心的主题与小组讨论,来自投资者与企业高管的演讲者将各占一半,并且开展初创企业的比赛。今年峰会的新特点包括:

  • 延长一对一合作系统移动应用的时间,而该应用可以促进投资者与企业高管之间的沟通。
  • 对于从数百家申请者中筛选出的六家公司,每家公司都将介绍自身并由一位投资者进行评估,目标是提供对所处行业及组成因素的洞察,成为中国投资者眼里成功的投资项目。

红杉资本中国基金 (Sequoia Capital China) 合伙人 Xiaobao Lu 在对此评论时说:“美国是医疗技术最具创新的国家,我很高兴能够有机会在 CTIC Capital 举办的活动上结识公司高管和潜在合作伙伴。”

确认参与的部分投资者包括:本草资本、艾伯维 (AbbVie)、汇桥资本集团 (Ally Bridge Group)、拜耳 (Bayer)、贝瑞基因、百家汇、巴特恩资本 (Button Capital)、迦南、创道资本、鼎晖创投、CLI Ventures、Cloudstone Ventures、查尔斯河风险投资公司 (CRV)、赛伯乐投资集团、daVinci Capital Group、德诚资本、Delos Capital、迪安诊断、DigitalDx Ventures、Flagship Pioneering、复星集团健康控股、复星医药、方源资本、富士康健康业务集团 (Foxconn Healthcare Group)、广发投资、广发信德投资管理有限公司、Good Health Capital、Hemi Ventures(和米资本)、通德资本、厚朴资本、IDGVC、InterWest Partners、Khosla Ventures(科斯拉风险投资公司)、凯鹏华盈 (KPCB China)、复盛创投、君联资本、Life Science Angels (LSA)、礼来亚洲基金 (Lilly Asia Ventures)、Lumira Capital、济峰资本、远毅资本、麦顿投资、晨兴创投、北极光创投、平安银行、平安创新投资基金、齐鲁制药、启明创投、仙瞳资本、赛诺菲 (SANOFI)、三胞集团、红杉资本中国基金、上海建信股权投资管理公司、Silicon Valley Future Capital、Teng Yue Partners(腾跃)、天津市仁爱集团、Top Tier Capital Partners、弘励创投、VMS Investment Group(鼎珮投资集团)、万孚生物、云锋基金、熠美投资 (Yimei Capital) 和浙江大健康产业股权投资基金。

活动赞助者包括:

Converge Minds、H. C. Wainwright & Co.、美国威尔逊-桑西尼-古奇-罗沙迪律师事务所 (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati)、红杉资本中国基金、华美银行 (East West Bank)、PitchBook、济峰资本、仙瞳资本、Moss Adams(莫斯-亚当斯会计师事务所)和 China-US Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation(中美创业与创新计划)。

CTIC Capital 简介

CTIC Capital 是一家总部位于硅谷的精品私募股权咨询公司,主要关注于医疗、互联网技术和替代型能源。依托我们的跨太平洋网络和本地专长,我们能够为中美企业在融资、并购和战略合作开发方面提供帮助。我们的目标是成为中美企业在其跨境投资和业务拓展方面值得信赖的合作伙伴。详情请访问:www.cticcapital.com

Epic Sciences To Present At The 2nd Annual CTIC Capital Cross-Border China-US Healthcare Investment Summit

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SAN DIEGOJan. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Epic Sciences, Inc. (Epic) announces that it is one of six companies chosen to present at the second annual CTIC Capital Cross-Border China-US Healthcare Investment Summit. The summit will take place on Sunday, January 7 at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.

“The 2018 CTIC Capital Cross-Border Healthcare Investment Summit serves as the definitive place for Chinese and US investors and executives to network, collaborate and build partnerships,” said Yanhong Lin, Founder and Managing Partner, CTIC Capital. “Building on the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural Summit which was the most well-attended event during JPM by top Chinese investors, this year’s conference has attracted the top Chinese healthcare investment firms and pharmaceutical companies.”

CTIC Capital screened several hundred companies along key criteria including strength of management team, strength of investors and advisors, clear competitive edge technologically, scale of market opportunities for products including their relevance in China, stage of the company and overall attractiveness to Chinese investors.

“Epic Sciences is proud to be selected as one of the six presenting companies at the 2018 CTIC Capital Cross-Border China-US Healthcare Investment Summit,” said Murali Prahalad, President & CEO of Epic.  “Given the thoughtful criteria and rigorous vetting process, Epic’s selection is a significant recognition of our progress and differentiation on a number of fronts.  Such progress includes improvements to our computer vision and machine learning based rare cell detection platform.  This technology has been used to develop a portfolio of blood-based tests of drug response in cancer that are clinically proven, predictive and personalized.  The most advanced of these tests is Epic’s AR-V7 Test – which has demonstrated predictive clinical utility of drug response in metastatic prostate cancer.  The test will be launched in the United States through a partnership with Genomic Health under the brand name Oncotype DX® AR-V7 Nucleus Detect™.  The AR-V7 test and other tests in our portfolio have the potential to extend life and improve healthcare economics worldwide. These tests have special relevance for markets like China where rapid industrialization and changing demographics have made improvements in cancer care a national priority.”

About Epic Sciences
Epic Sciences, Inc. is developing novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer. Epic Sciences’ mission is to enable the rapid and non-invasive detection of genetic and molecular changes in cancer throughout a patient’s journey. The company was founded on a powerful platform to identify and characterize rare cells, including circulating tumor cells. Epic Sciences No Cell Left Behind® technology helps match patients to therapies and monitor for drug resistance, so that the best treatment path can be chosen at every clinical decision point. Epic Sciences has partnered with Genomic Health to commercialize the Oncotype DX® AR-V7 Nucleus DetectTMtest, which helps with therapeutic decisions between taxane chemotherapy or androgen-directed therapeutics in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Today, we partner with leading pharmaceutical companies and major cancer centers around the world. Epic Sciences’ goal is to increase the success rate of cancer drugs in clinical trials and improve patient outcomes by providing physicians real-time information to guide treatment choices. Epic Sciences is headquartered in San Diego.

Further information is available on the Company’s website, www.epicsciences.com. Stay in touch on Linkedin, on Twitter @EpicSciences or on Facebook.com/EpicSciences.

Novocure brings Optune tech to drug trial for glioblastoma

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Novocure (NSDQ:NVCR) said today that it joined a Phase Ib study to evaluate the safety of Celgene‘s (NSDQ:CELG) marizomib and temozolomide in combination with Optune for patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma.

The trial is the first to assess Optune, the company’s “Tumor Treating Fields” delivery device, in combination with an investigational drug.

Celgene and Triphase changed their ongoing Phase Ib study of marizomib in combination with temozolomide and radiotherapy to include Optune. A group of 12 gliobastoma patients will be treated with the combination therapy following initial treatment with radiation and temozolomide, according to St. Helier, N.J.-based Novocure.

The primary endpoint for the study’s Optune branch is to evaluate the safety of the combination treatment with the addition of Optune. Secondary endpoints include preliminary clinical activity of the combo, Novocure said, including progression-free survival and overall survival.

The Optune arm is slated to open in the third quarter of this year.

The FDA-approved Optune device delivers low-intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields to inhibit cancer cell replication.

“This collaboration marks an important first step toward testing Optune with a promising new investigational compound for the treatment of GBM,” principal investigator Dr. Roger Stupp, associate director for strategic initiatives at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, said in prepared remarks. “Optune is the first treatment in over a decade to improve survival in GBM. I believe that combining Optune with new pharmacologic treatments in clinical trials, like this Phase Ib study, will help advance our understanding of how to treat this devastating disease.”

“We believe TTFields has the potential to be an excellent development candidate in combination with other solid tumor cancer treatments,” chief science officer & head of R&D, Eilon Kirson, added. “As innovators in cancer treatment, we know collaboration is essential to improve patient outcomes. We hope this is the first collaboration of many.”

Healthcare payment analysts Cotiviti Holdings acquires RowdMap in $70M deal

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Doug Williams, Cotiviti CEO, noted in a news release that the need for its services has increased in line with the shift toward value-based care and the more complex payment system that accompanies it. RowdMap will help the companies expand and deepen their product offerings to their customer base.

“With the addition of RowdMap, we will be able to offer adjacent solutions to payment accuracy that together target over $600 billion of the estimated $900+ billion in waste and abuse in healthcare expenditures,” Williams said.

RowdMap uses publicly available healthcare data to create risk benchmarks for physicians, health plans, and hospital systems to help them identify and quantify no-value and low-value care. As a result, payers can reduce their medical costs by 30 percent and hospitals. The startup has expanded rapidly in the past couple of years from having a presence in 10 states two years ago to 49 states in 2017. It also added Geisinger Health System as a customer earlier this year.

In an interview earlier this year, RowdMap Cofounder and Chief Science Joshua Rosenthal highlighted the benefit of its approach.

“You can have a great clinical outcome on surgery you don’t need. You can even have a low cost and a great patient experience on that surgery,” he said. “But we take a broader view of quality. Whether you need something or not actually trumps whether you have a good outcome.”

Both companies are all about providing analytics software support to make risk bearing, value-based care workable because it relies so much on data analytics.

Cotiviti is a public company based in Atlanta that provides its services to 20 of the largest payers in the U.S. and eight of the top ten retailers, according to a news release. Earlier this year Rosenthal said RowdMap planned to focus more on helping payers compensate providers on the basis of high-value care metrics.

“We believe we are well positioned to help RowdMap achieve its full potential by leveraging our broad data set and established client relationships,” Williams said. “In addition, the RowdMap technology platform and analytics are highly complementary with Cotiviti’s, creating an opportunity for our teams to collaborate and share mutual insights to enhance existing solutions and develop a new set of innovative solutions.”

Photo: crazydiva, Getty Images

Source: http://medcitynews.com/2017/07/healthcare-billing-analysts-cotiviti-holdings-acquires-rowdmap-70m-deal/

Forget antimicrobials, Evelo just raised $50M for its pro-microbial approach

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The latest installment, announced Tuesday, came as a $50 million Series B courtesy of its founding and principal investor, Flagship Pioneering. GV (formerly Google Ventures), Celgene, Mayo Clinic, and Alexandria Venture Investments also chipped in.

Evelo’s platform is based on what it calls monoclonal microbials. These are single strains of naturally occurring microbes that selectively target human gut cells. That supposedly initiates specific immunological pathways, which can modulate aspects of inflammation, neurodegeneration, and even cancer.

“Humans have evolved over millennia with the microbes in and on our bodies and these microbes play a vital role in developing and directing immune and biological responses,” Evelo CEO Simba Gill explained via email.

Using microbials as a drug is an interesting deviation from the standard small molecule or antibody-based approach. By isolating naturally-occurring strains, Gill said the company is looking to improve the speed, cost, and success of drug discovery and development. They can be taken orally and he’s also anticipating fewer off-target effects.

“One of the key advantages of monoclonal microbials is that we are not seeing systemic exposure of the microbe, and therefore do not expect to see side effects driven by off target systemic exposure,” Gill noted.

With the new funding in hand, Evelo hopes to advance multiple product candidates into human trials in 2018. In the crosshairs right now are cancers and so-called immuno-inflammatory diseases — a category that includes psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and food allergies.

“Based on the data we have generated, our monoclonal microbials have the potential to really move the needle for all of the disease areas listed,” he said.

Resources will also be committed to improving the foundational platform.

While it’s all new terrain, Flagship does have some related experience. Its VentureLabs incubator gave birth to what is arguably the most advanced microbiome-based drug company, Seres Therapeutics. It underwent a successful IPO and recently initiated the field’s first pivotal trial.

VentureLabs also seeded Epiva Biosciences, which joined forces with Evelo in 2016. It had become apparent that both companies were working on the same problem from different angles. Evelo was working to create cancer therapies and studied immune responses to tumors, while Epiva explored treatments for allergy, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The two firms consolidated into one location in Cambridge, Massachusetts location, with Evelo’s Gill taking the helm.

“The rationale for combining the two companies was positive growth,” Gill told MedCity News at the time. “It was driven by the recognition that fundamentally the biological platform for both companies was a mirror image. We both independently uncovered the biology of the immune-microbiome.”

Let’s see how much of a punch the two-for-one pro-microbial company can now deliver.

Source: http://medcitynews.com/2017/07/forget-antimicrobials-evelo-raised-50m-for-pro-microbial-approach/

Picture: Andrew Brookes, Getty Images

Baidu’s Apollo platform becomes the ‘Android of the autonomous driving industry’

Baidu now claims one of the largest partner ecosystems for an autonomous driving platform in the world: Its Apollo autonomous driving program now counts over 50 partners, including FAW Group, one of the major Chinese carmakers that will work with Baidu on commercialization of the tech. Other partners include Chinese auto companies Chery, Changan and Great Wall Motors, as well as Bosch, Continental, Nvidia, Microsoft Cloud, Velodyne, TomTom, UCAR and Grab Taxi.

The Apollo program (if that name seems familiar, it’s because it’s actually named after the U.S. mission to the moon) also includes five of China’s top universities, and local government tie-ups as well. Baidu’s COO Qi Lu called the platform the “Android of the autonomous driving industry, but more open and powerful,” and it aims to provide developers with tools including data, APIs, open source code for some portions and even reference hardware to help them bring autonomous driving products to market.

To demonstrate what the platform can do, U.S. autonomous system supplier startup AutonomouStuff showed off two cars they turned into self-driving models using Apollo’s 1.0 software release in just three days. These cars ran circuits at a track near Baidu’s AI developer conference, which is where the Apollo program news was announced.

The goal is to open up Apollo’s abilities to developers gradually over time, and this month, developers will get access to driving technologies for specific, restricted areas. By the end of 2020, Baidu hopes to offer a platform that can handle full autonomous driving on both urban roads and highways.

In the autonomous driving industry there have been a lot of partnership announcements, amounting to a sort of ‘musical chairs’ with many players seeking to team up on various aspects of the challenge. In that context, Baidu may have just sat down in all the chairs at once. These partnerships tend to be open, as players hedge their bets and prepare for multiple leaders to emerge in the space, but Baidu’s open approach with the resulting product is interesting and different.

Baidu, as an Internet company with business similar to Google’s, seems to believe that the data and services business resulting from use of its platform will be worth making it more broadly available (the Android model). It’s an interesting approach, and one that could prove a winning strategy, especially in the potentially massive Chinese market.

New York Approves Guardant Health’s Liquid Biopsy Test

Guardant Health.  (PRNewsFoto/Guardant Health)

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Guardant Health today announced the Guardant360 assay has been approved by New York State’s Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program.

The assay is the first liquid biopsy permitted by the program, which Guardant said is one of the most demanding lab certification programs in the country, and the approval means Guardant360 can be offered in all 50 states.

The blood-based 73-gene test investigates actionable somatic alteration across all solid tumor sites to provide clinicians information to better manage their patients’ disease, according to Guardant. Last week, Medicare contractor Palmetto GBA released a draft local coverage determination for the test, proposing limited coverage for it in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

The test was launched in 2014 and has been ordered more than 40,000 times by more than 3,500 oncologists since, Guardant said.

Source: https://www.genomeweb.com/regulatory-news/new-york-approves-guardant-healths-liquid-biopsy-test

Deep Genomics Shifts Focus to Genetic Medicines

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By Allison Proffitt 

May 12, 2017 | In August 2015 when Deep Genomics first launched, co-founder Brendan Frey made a prediction. “There’s a sea change coming,” he told Bio-IT World. “People are going to be focusing now on the machine learning component and trying to understand what the genome means, not just sequence a bunch of genomes.” It’s been nearly two years, and he’s been proven right as more and more efforts arise to apply deep learning, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to medicine.

But maybe Frey isn’t wholly prescient. Earlier this month Deep Genomics announced a shift in company focus. Genetic testing was the Deep Genomics business plan in August of 2015; today the company is working to develop genetic medicines.

The company’s technology and foundation haven’t changed. Frey’s vision is to use computer science to accurately model what’s going on in cells and how disease arises from mutations. “Closing the genotype-phenotype gap means understanding how mutations impact what’s going on in cells and how that impacts diseases, whether that’s cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease,” Frey told Bio-IT World earlier this week. Detecting mutations is the first step; figuring out what to do about the mutations is the second part.

But genetic testing as an industry is bound in regulatory constraints. “What we found is that the genetic testing community is very conservative and a lot of issues need to be sorted out. They’re political issues; they’re insurance issues; they’re FDA issues. Sorting that out is not something that we want to focus on in the short term. As the community moves forward and those issues get resolved, then we’ll re-engage with the genetic testing community. But right now we’re focused on genetic medicine,” Frey said.

Deep Genomics intends to understand disease starting with its genetics, and then rationally develop drugs to target the genetic underpinnings of disease. Frey believes the regulatory landscape for that type of genetic medicine is much more fertile, citing the 21st Century Cures Act.

“If you look at pharmaceuticals and therapeutics… everybody realizes that this $2.8b per drug [cost] to produce a drug doesn’t work and an 85% failure rate is just not acceptable. Many people are suffering because of this. So the regulatory constraints are dropping; it’s becoming easier and easier to develop drugs.”

Into The Wet Lab

You might expect that Deep Genomics would simply offer its deep learning platform to companies and groups as software-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service. Frey laughs when I ask him about it; he understands the assumption. But from the beginning, Deep Genomics has employed both computer scientists and cell biologists. The Deep Genomics platform has already identified genetic medicine candidates and the company is pursuing options for central nervous system, eye, and liver disorders, validating them now in tissue culture.

Deep Genomics has lab space at JLABS @ Toronto, a 40,000-square-foot life sciences incubator sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation that just celebrated its first year. Frey is also making good use of the science-on-demand capabilities now available. “Nowadays, over the internet you can order compounds… companies will synthesize the compounds and do the chemistry for you. Companies like Transcriptic enable cloud labs, that allow you to do experiments by uploading basically a computer script.”

The company has previously been funded by angel investors and had revenue from clients and partners. But now Frey is securing additional funding for a Series A round to “massively scale up” the company’s experimental unit. He hopes to announce his own compounds in the next 18 months.

In addition, Deep Genomics is seeking pharma partners. “The path for us is to focus on the early-stage development right now, and collaborate with other pharmaceutical companies and help them get their products out as fast as they can, reduce risk for other pharmaceutical companies,” he said.

Platform Progress

Deep Genomics’ vision, Frey stressed, hasn’t changed. “The core idea of Deep Genomics is that the pharmaceutical company of the future is going to look like a computer science company with an amazing team of biologists and chemists and experts in clinical trials rather than a traditional pharmaceutical company with biologists and chemists who are using computational tools. It’s a question of culture; it’ll be a culture of computer science.”

The platform has matured over the past two years. The company has diversified the types of molecular phenotypes it looks at, considering transcription initiation, polyadenylation, and mRNA stability, in addition to splicing errors, and has added protein-related molecular phenotypes.

For the past few months, Frey said, the company has been focusing on how to introduce genetic modifications or therapies to fix various mutations.

“Say there’s a mutation that causes a problem with splicing or a transcriptionally-related problem,” he proposes. “Now what kind of a genetic modification or genetic medication would be needed to fix that problem?”

Source: http://www.bio-itworld.com/2017/05/12/deep-genomics-shifts-focus-genetic-medicines.aspx

For some, access to healthcare could start with at-home lab testing

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Most at-home lab testing devices like Scanadu and Cor are still waiting for FDA approval, but simple lab testing can still be done in the confines of your own home and then shipped to a lab and that’s led to a handful of new startups offering services like STD or food allergy tests.

Everlywell, an Austin-based at-home lab testing startup (and a Disrupt Battlefield company), aims to make the testing it offers affordable and easily accessible to the masses. The company debuted two years ago and has grown quite a bit in a short amount of time. Founder Julia Cheek tells me Everlywell is now generating millions in sales and ships to 46 states in the U.S. The company recently announced it had pulled in another $2 million in seed funding, bringing the total to $5 million to help it grow its service offerings.

Everlywell so far offers eight different tests including food sensitivity, thyroid and metabolism testing or fertility testing to get a clear picture of how you are doing in those areas.

MyLabBox is another startup offering a detailed list of STD tests available for use in the home and at your convenience. The costs might seem high if not covered by insurance (and most at-home lab testing doesn’t seem to be) but you could still see about FSA/HSA reimbursements.

Though the debate wages on for how to cover America, these types of startups present a new range of abilities for the healthcare industry and could help lower the cost and ease of access for service workers and others who don’t work regular hours or don’t typically have insurance coverage.

The process is pretty simple for each startup — you order online and a kit arrives in the mail. Each test is different but some require a sample of blood or saliva. Just follow the instructions and then pop it back in the mail for analysis by a third-party lab.

The idea for these types of startups might be similar to something the embattled blood testing company Theranos once hoped to accomplish. Theranos held a lot of promise when it first launched, claiming it could test for hundreds of diseases on one drop of blood. However, you had to go into a Walgreen’s partner lab if you wanted to get results.

These newer lab startups offer the ability to test in privacy and instead use certified third-party facilities for accurate measurements. They may also be the preferred method for those who just want to see their results before determining whether they need to see a doctor as sitting face-to-face with someone who might tell them they have an STD can be a very real fear.

Both startups stand by the accuracy of their results and I’ve personally tried a food sensitivity test from Everlywell that I can say helped me determine certain foods that were causing stomach issues — including green peas, which is one I never would have thought of otherwise.

It’s not exactly full access to healthcare (that’s another debate I could get into but not today), but this new crop of health startups do offer a regulated option for those who can scrape up the money without paying insurance premiums to find out what might be going on inside their body — and with an easy and convenient solution to some of the fear they might have about going to the doctor’s office to get results.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/07/for-some-access-to-healthcare-could-start-with-at-home-lab-testing/