Helix Announces New Partnerships with National Geographic and Mount Sinai
News Oct 27, 2016
Helix has announced new partnerships with National Geographic, Mount Sinai, and innovative developer Exploragen to bring DNA-powered insights to everyday products and experiences. Helix provides people with access to data and information about their DNA, through uniquely personalized applications from some of the world’s most trusted companies. Helix also announced a new strategic investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a leading venture and growth investor.
“The genomics industry is no longer just about clinical precautions and general health. It’s quickly touching all areas of our lives, from family planning, to nutrition, to ancestry,” said Robin Thurston, CEO, Helix. “We’re building a powerful platform for DNA discovery that enables anyone to connect with relevant, personalized applications from well-known consumer brands, trusted healthcare providers, innovative developers, and everything in between.”
“Consumer genomics is an industry that's poised to take off as DNA data becomes more accessible. DNA applications across a wide range of categories may be hard to imagine now, but will soon be commonplace,” said Noah Knauf, General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield &
Byers. "We're excited to have the opportunity to invest in Helix at an inflection point in growth as it continues to expand its partner ecosystem and inspire consumers to understand their DNA.”
National Geographic’s popular ancestry product, Geno 2.0 Next Generation, will launch on the Helix platform this November, just in time for the holidays. “Helix and National Geographic share the same core values and excitement of bringing accessible and accurate ancestry information
to millions of people worldwide,” said Declan Moore, CEO, National Geographic Partners. “As a science-driven company and a pioneer in ancestry, we are proud to bring the latest and greatest in DNA technology to our customers through Helix.”
In partnering with Helix, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai continues to pioneer novel approaches to responsibly engaging consumers in the digital health arena. The first Mount Sinai application on the Helix platform, available with approval of a clinician, will allow prospective
parents to learn about their risks of passing on certain of the many potential inheritable genetic disorders to their children. It will also provide them access to genetic counseling.
“We are strong advocates for consumers having access to their own genomic information for personal education and insights. We are excited to launch our first application on the Helix platform to enable a view into genes of interest for reproductive health and look forward to developing additional products on the platform over time," stated Eric Schadt, PhD, Founding Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai.
Helix also announced that an innovative developer, Exploragen, is building a variety of applications on the Helix platform that harness DNA and the science of taste to match personalized epicurean experiences and products with consumers. Led by Ronnie Andrews, an 2 accomplished executive in the DNA sequencing industry, Exploragen is the first example of an independent developer group committed to building applications exclusively for the Helix platform. Vinome, which pairs and delivers wines tailored to your DNA and taste, is the first product from the Exploragen development team launching on Helix and will be available next year.
Some MRSA infections could be tackled using widely-available antibiotics, suggests new research. A team of scientists used genome sequencing technology to identify which genes make MRSA susceptible to a previously defined combination of drugs. They identified a number of mutations centered around a protein known as a penicillin-binding protein 2a or PBP2a.