REDWOOD CITY, CA, GenapSys announced today that it has completed a $90 million funding round.
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The round was led by Foresite Capital to commercialize the smallest and most affordable highly accurate sequencer ever developed. This latest investment round brings the company's total funding to $166 million to date. Now available for purchase, the device uses first-of-its-kind technology to deliver results at a fraction of the cost of legacy technologies, while still delivering highly-accurate results. The new capital will be used to drive the commercial launch of the company's first-generation product, grow GenapSys' interdisciplinary team, and empower continued innovation.
Accessible Sequencing Holds the Key to Innovation
Gene sequencing enables the analysis of every component that makes up one's DNA, providing researchers with the insight necessary to better understand mutations that drive diseases like cancer. With this insight, doctors have the power to more accurately diagnose disease, develop more precise, impactful treatments, optimize one's treatment program, and more. Applications extend even beyond healthcare, into areas like forensics, agriculture, and other key industries. However, broad uptake has not been possible because the current sequencing industry faces a massive centralization problem where a few manufacturers and contract labs control the majority of the market through high prices and a lack of accessibility. The most common high-throughput sequencers cost around a million dollars and are the size of a refrigerator, preventing all but the most well-funded research organizations from owning one.
A Breakthrough in Sequencing with High Accuracy and Low Cost
Unlike legacy optical based technologies that use surrogate analysis methods, the GenapSys system centers around its proprietary direct electronic sequencing chip, eliminating the need for cumbersome equipment. The device is radically miniaturized to the size of an iPad and costs under $10,000 -- 100x less than the cost of the current high throughput system.
"We are entering a multi-decade era of genomics that will revolutionize many industries, including healthcare diagnostics, pharmaceutical discovery, personalized medicine, food testing, forensics, agriculture, biology and beyond - but until now, we've lacked the access necessary to realize this potential," explained Dr. Hesaam Esfandyarpour, CEO and founder of GenapSys. "With our new sequencer, we can rapidly enable and scale genomics power to every researcher, physician, provider and patient around the world."
Unlike many others on the market, GenapSys achieves gold standard accuracy while maintaining low costs and portability. An independent study conducted by The Jackson Laboratory, a leading global nonprofit biomedical research institution, found that GenapSys sequencers deliver consistent and excellent performance across a variety of biological samples. Recently at American Society of Human Genetics in Houston, The Jackson Laboratory presented the results of their study which found that the GenapSys sequencers are superior to optical detection methods in detecting single nucleotide mutations, a critical task used for cancer and inherited disease detection.
The GenapSys sequencer has been tested extensively across leading genomics labs across the nation. All studies thus far have indicated exceptional performance; published work is publicly available on BioRxiv.
Top Biotech Investors and Advisors Join the Team
As an investor in companies at the nexus of data science and biology, Foresite Capital uses a scientific and data-driven approach to their investment analysis. Before investing capital in GenapSys, the Foresite Capital conducted extensive technical diligence on the platform. The investment firm chose to invest in GenapSys and its technology based on its belief in the market demand of a high-quality sequencer that is both affordable and in a small form factor.
"We believe high accuracy, low-cost distributed sequencing will enable a much larger market for sequencing," said Jim Tananbaum, co-founder and managing director of Foresite Capital. "We're very excited about the potential in this area"
Along with this new funding round, GenapSys is also announcing the appointment of veteran biotech advisors to its Board of Directors. The new board appointments include; Frank Witney, former CEO of Affymetrix and Dionex; Rakesh Sachdev, former CEO of Sigma Aldrich and Platform Specialty Products Corporation; and Hamid Moghadam, CEO and Chairman of Prologis. These additions to the Board of Directors join GenapSys' world-class Scientific Advisory Board which consists of pioneers of genetics research, including Ron Davis, Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center; George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School; Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute; and Michael Snyder, Director of the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine.
The GenapSys Sequencer is currently available for order in the U.S. with global sales beginning in early 2020. Visit www.GenapSys.com for ordering and more information.
About GenapSys Inc.
GenapSys is the company behind the world's first highly accurate direct electronic sequencing technology. Its system leverages a proprietary electrical microfluidic sequencing chip with a scalable number of detectors, allowing for applications ranging from targeted sequencing of specific amplicons to genome-scale sequencing data collection. The proprietary semiconductor chip-based detection modality allows the system to be compact, scalable, and affordable, empowering the democratization of access to Next-Generation Sequencing.
Founded by Dr. Hesaam Esfanyarpour, GenapSys' novel sequencing method is revolutionizing genomics discovery, biomedical research, healthcare, diagnostics, agriculture, and a variety of other fields. GenapSys is headquartered in Redwood City, CA. For more information, visit GenapSys.com.
About Foresite Capital
Foresite Capital funds visionary healthcare entrepreneurs. With $2B+ in assets under management, Foresite Capital has a team of clinical scientists, engineers, analysts and partners who listen and can help companies at all stages of their life cycles. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco, with an office in New York. For more information visit www.foresitecapital.com.