Health IT

Polaris, ARCH Venture Partners put $15M behind launch of deCODE genetics spinoff NextCODE

DNA statueSequencing the genome is one thing, but applying the data produced from that process to clinical care is a whole other thing.

A new startup called NextCODE Health has launched with $15 million and a license to use the genomics platform of deCODE genetics to develop sequence-based clinical diagnostics.

deCODE, a once-bankrupt Icelandic company now owned by Amgen, has spent years working to combine data from modern DNA sequencing techniques with medical and genealogical data to uncover links between genes and disease.

NextCODE will leverage deCODE’s technology in working with physicians and geneticists to improve their abilities to make clinical use of patients’ genetic data without having to invest in IT infrastructure. Genomics could potentially be applied in clinical care to asess patient risk for specific illnesses, diagnose disease and select the most effective treatments.


In its announcement today, NextCODE said it’s already working with Queensland University in Australia, Boston Children’s Hospital and Newcastle University in the U.K.

The new company also said it’s secured $15 million in Series A financing from Polaris Partners and ARCH Venture Partners, the same pair of investors that bought deCODE out of bankruptcy in 2010.

Here’s how it describes its analysis process:

“Raw sequence data is run through a pipeline that combines the GOR infrastructure, access to deCODE’s substantial knowledge base including public and proprietary reference sequence data, and systems for genome analysis and interpretation. NextCODE’s Clinical Sequence Analyzer (CSA) facilitates rapid confirmation of mutations through visualization of raw sequence data in real time, providing greater transparency than existing systems and enabling users to validate their findings with speed and confidence. This clinically intuitive interface enables users to quickly identify and confirm possible mutations, collect disease-causing mutations into a custom database, and generate printable summary reports for physicians.”

Hannes Smarason, deCODE’s former CFO and executive vice president of business and finance, will serve as CEO of NextCODE.

 [Image credit: Flickr user dancentury]

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