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14 July 2017

NYGC spins out Gencove

Gencove has developed a genetic testing program that enables users to access services such as genome sequencing without requiring access to a lab themselves.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

New York Genome Center (NYGC) has officially launched its spinout Gencove, which has developed a genetic testing program that is accessed through a mobile app, according to GenomeWeb.

The company has obtained $1m in funding from Third Kind Venture Capital, Version One Ventures, Refactor Capital, SV Angel, Kresimir Penavic and Balaji Srinivasan.

Gencove has developed a genetic testing technology kit, available for approximately $60, that offers genome sequencing assay, ancestry and microbiome testing services. The results are delivered through a smartphone app or the web.

Gencove’s aim is to enable offerings such as ancestry analysis platforms without requiring these products to have their own physical lab infrastructure.

Developers can build their own applications on top of Gencove’s offering, while researchers can access the services through a dedicated portal.

The company’s product was already available before the formal spinout process concluded, though it was known as Seeq until June 23. The project was in development since 2015.

"Our goal is to build our technology into other genomics applications besides our own," Founder and CEO Joseph Pickrell told GenomeWeb via email.

Joseph Pickrell, chief executive and co-founder of Gencove as well as a human geneticist at Columbia University, said: "The next big biobanks may not need the support of a national government, but could be run by small companies, non-profits, or even individual grad students.”

NYGC is a biomedical research organisation co-founded by institutions Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Columbia University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York University’s School of Medicine, Rockefeller University and Stony Brook University.

Founding members also include Weill Cornell Medicine, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Jackson Laboratory, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York-Presbyterian and Northwell Health as well as technology company IBM.

Associate members include Princeton University, American Museum of Natural History, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York Stem Cell Foundation and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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