Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) has selected seven early-stage companies to join the first global cohort of Illumina Accelerator, the company creation engine focused on partnering with entrepreneurs to build breakthrough genomics startups. Three companies comprise the inaugural funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK and four companies will join as part of the 11th funding cycle in the San Francisco Bay Area. Due to lockdowns and travel restrictions during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Illumina Accelerator kicked off both funding cycles digitally this month, bringing all seven startup companies together for the first time.
Illumina Accelerator announced its global expansion last year. During two six-month funding cycles per year, Illumina Accelerator provides the selected startups with access to seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses in Cambridge, UK or the San Francisco Bay Area. The newest companies to join Illumina Accelerator’s portfolio of genomics startups include:
Illumina Accelerator Cambridge
- Alchemab Therapeutics LTD, an antibody therapeutics company from London, UK, is harnessing the naturally protective power of patient antibodies to keep people free from hard-to-treat disease in a unique approach to drug discovery and development.
- Neurolytic Healthcare LTD, a diagnostics company from Oxford, UK, is focused on delivering digital, genomics-driven diagnostics and personalized treatment recommendations for neurological conditions.
- Tailor Bio LTD, an oncology diagnostics company spun out of Cancer Research UK-funded research, is developing a proprietary precision oncology platform to identify patterns in tumour DNA to predict a patient’s response to cancer drugs.
Illumina Accelerator SF Bay Area
- AarogyaAI Innovations Pvt. LTD, a diagnostics company from India, comprehensively diagnoses drug-resistance in tuberculosis rapidly, enabling most the effective therapies for patients.
- MEDIC Life Sciences Inc., a drug discovery company in the SF Bay Area, is building a pre-clinical testbed of millions of tumor samples based on CRISPR and cancer organoids to enable personalized targeted therapies for cancer with maximized clinical success rates.
- Pluton Biosciences, LLC, a microbial testing and discovery research company in St. Louis, Missouri, is developing eco-friendly natural products mined from unique bacteria, fungi, and viruses to replace synthetic chemical applications in agriculture and pest control.
- WellSIM Biomedical Technologies, Inc., a tools company from the SF Bay Area, is developing a high-throughput automated exosome processing instrument based on microfluidics allowing unparalleled isolation efficiency, purity, and integrity for use in therapeutic and clinical diagnostics applications.
“As we navigate the current global pandemic, there is an even stronger urgency to create breakthrough genomics startups that will transform human health and beyond,” said Amanda Cashin, Co-founder and Global Head of Illumina Accelerator. “By opening our second location and partnering with seed stage capital investors, we are proud to invest in these transformative startups to push the boundaries of where genomics can go.”
Illumina Accelerator has partnered with First In Ventures to provide convertible notes for the incoming startups in the U.S. and UK. Wing Venture Capital will continue their support in providing convertible notes in the U.S., and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority will support the companies in the UK.
“We believe the startups selected have great potential to expand the genomics ecosystem and deliver new and important applications to market,” said Paula Dowdy, Illumina’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The UK is a leader in genomics research, and we’re delighted to locate the extension of Illumina Accelerator at our new campus in Cambridge.”
Illumina Accelerator is accepting applications for the next global funding cycle, which are due by August 1, 2020. Through a single, global application process, Illumina Accelerator will select up to five companies in each location. To learn more and apply, please visit our website.
About Illumina Accelerator
Illumina Accelerator is the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry. It provides select startups with access to seed investment, business guidance, Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents, and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area or Cambridge, UK during each six-month funding cycle. Since launching in 2014, Illumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups from across the globe, which have collectively raised approximately $400 million in venture capital funding.
Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and follow @illumina.