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Illumina Accelerator unveils 7 genomics startups selected for latest funding cycle

Illumina Accelerator has invested in 68 companies so far, all of them startups developing genomics technologies. Seven startups comprise the latest cohort selected by the startup engine.


Gene sequencing giant Illumina, a provider of analysis used in diagnosing disease and developing new medicines, also operates an accelerator that supports genomics-focused startups. On Thursday, Illumina Accelerator unveiled its fourth funding cycle, which has invested in seven startups.

The accelerator has two, six-month funding cycles per year. Startups selected get access to seed investment, use of Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, business guidance, genomics expertise, and lab space that is adjacent to Illumina campuses in Cambridge, UK, or in the San Francisco area. In total, Illumina Accelerator says that to date, it has invested in 68 companies across the world. Here’s a look at the newest additions to the accelerator’s portfolio.

4SR Biosciences.: A University of Chicago spinout, 4SR Biosciences is developing technology that explores new tRNA-based modalities. The company’s technology can be used to develop new diagnostics and cancer therapeutics.

B4X: Atlanta-based B4X is turning biologic big data into a model of the human brain. With this model, the startup aims to develop new treatments and precision diagnostics for brain disorders.

Cache DNA: This startup from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes itself as a nucleic acid software and storage company. Cache DNA aims to unlock the information that is stored in nucleic acids, which its life sciences customers can use for insights.

CRISP-HR Therapeutics: Based in the San Carlos, California, CRISP-HR Therapeutics is developing CRISPR-based therapies for rare diseases. CRISPR editing causes a double-stranded break, which must be repaired by one of two repair pathways. Cells typically selects the pathway that is prone to errors. CRISP-HR says its technology directs them to homologous repair, an efficient and error-free pathway.

NonExomics: The startup, which has sites in Cambridge, UK, and Boston, uses artificial intelligence to analyze “dark” regions of the genome, which are places outside of currently defined genes where RNA and proteins are made. NonExomics says its analysis can be used to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics.

Purpose Health: The Northern Virginia startup analyzes the impact of stress on the microbiome and body, which it aims to insights that rebalance the microbiome and support mental wellness.

Rethink Bio: This Pune, India-based synthetic biology company aims to harness microalgae to develop sustainable food solutions.

Applications for the next global funding cycle are due April 1. Up to five startups will be selected for each of the accelerator’s locations.

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