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Illumina Accelerator Announces Third Funding Cycle of Genomics Startups

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Illumina, Inc. has announced that Illumina Accelerator—the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry—has selected four new investments from a competitive pool of highly qualified applicants to be a part of its third funding cycle.

“Illumina Accelerator is pleased to have such a promising group of startups join our growing genomics community,” said Mostafa Ronaghi, Ph.D., Illumina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Illumina Accelerator. “We’re here to provide access to our best-in-class sequencers, a support team of genomics professionals and entrepreneurial coaches, and the tools each of these startups need to advance breakthrough applications in genomics.”

The selected startups for the third funding cycle are:

• MetaMixis, Inc., a synthetic biology company spun out of The University of British Columbia, is specializing in the rapid discovery of enzymes and pathways to produce bio-based materials and chemicals.
• NextGen Jane, Inc., a novel med-tech company based on technology developed at Harvard University, is offering women insights into their reproductive health through a genomics-driven approach to tracking biological changes predictive of disease.
• Skinomics, Inc., a skin microbiome company formed by faculty members from the University of California, Los Angeles, is harnessing genomics information from the cutaneous microbiome to create advances in skin care, with a current focus on acne.
• Vitagene, Inc., a health technology company, is leveraging genomic science to offer physicians a platform for data-driven care and delivers highly customized products and services for optimal health.

During the six-month Accelerator funding cycle, each startup will gain access to business guidance and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as seed investment, a subscription to Illumina’s NextBio translational genomics database, Illumina’s Genologics Clarity LIMS software, access to match funding through the $40 million Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital, and Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents.

“Illumina Accelerator continues to propel talented entrepreneurs by providing unparalleled resources to help advance their genomics startups,” said Amanda Cashin, Ph.D., co-founder and Head of Illumina Accelerator. “The quality and diversity of our four newest investments is an indicator of the potential impact of genomics in a range of different fields. We’re thrilled to have such an inspiring group join us for round three.”

Applications for the Illumina Accelerator Spring 2016 funding cycle are due by March 1, 2016. To apply, visit www.illumina.com/accelerator.