Enjoy The Work recently announced the addition of innovative genome sequencing company, Gencove to its portfolio. The addition strengthens the firm’s ties to the booming BioTech industry, and marks the second BioTech company to join the ETW portfolio in 2019.
Genome sequencing is the science of reading out the DNA in an individual cell – whether animal, human, or plant. Historically, the field has been defined by expensive hardware and technology. But Gencove has developed a number of software tools around the tech (called low pass sequencing) that allows for lower cost and higher throughput. What once could be done for $1k per genome soon costs just $10, thanks to Gencove.
The company’s mission is to revolutionize the genome sequencing space, something they are actively achieving. Founders Joe Pickrell and Tomaz Berisa have reimagined the status quo, making genome sequencing more accessible with lower costs, higher throughput, and improved interpretability.
Gencove sees a future where genome sequence data influences many industries – from agriculture, to medicine, to R&D, and more. Currently, the company is focused on two main industries.
First, human genetics. Gencove has developed software to take genome sequencing from research to the clinic. The company can efficiently identify genetic variants that influence risk of disease, allowing for scalable opportunity that would forever change the medical industry. By developing tools that screen for risk of tens (or hundreds) of different diseases, the company aims to empower millions to lead healthier lives. The diffusion of the technology would improve preventive health care like never before.
And second, agriculture. By identifying genetic variants that influence, for example, how much milk a cow will produce, predictive output models can be built with unparalleled accuracy. Gencove has the tech to allow humans to take these applications to massive scale, to all sorts of species and verticals.
Pickrell and Berisa met at New York Genome Center. After achieving impressive academic accolades (both served as postdoctoral fellows – Pickrell at Harvard, Berisa at Université du Québec), the two collaborated on Gencove, first as an academic project.
After recognizing the opportunity for potential applications of the tech they were building, Berisa suggested taking the project to the next level. That was more than two years ago, and it was full steam ahead from that day forward.
Gencove has since commercialized its offering, and the co-founders look forward to a handful of upcoming partnerships. As the hardware of sequencing tech continues to improve in both cost and scalability, Gencove’s accompanying software will become ever more important. The software element of the equation is the key to getting from raw sequencing data to usable insight. The industry is growing fast, and Gencove is well poised to take advantage, helping millions of individuals along the way.