Helix Announces $50 Million Series C Funding to Continue Acceleration into Clinical Population Genomics and COVID-19 Viral Surveillance
Helix, the leading population genomics and COVID-19 testing company, has closed on its Series C funding round led by existing investors Warburg Pincus, DFJ Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Mayo Clinic and Temasek. The $50M round will be used to accelerate the organization’s population genomics platform across health systems, life sciences companies, and payers as well as power its growing COVID-19 testing and viral surveillance efforts.
Helix’s end-to-end genomics platform enables organizations to advance genomic research and accelerate the integration of genomic data into clinical care through its unique “Sequence Once, Query Often™” model. With this model, an individual’s DNA can be collected, sequenced and securely stored once, while allowing continuous access to the genomic data and insights as needed, without collecting additional saliva samples.
“In healthcare, the goal is to achieve more personalized, preventative and population-based healthcare. A central part of this is identifying people at risk for genetic conditions earlier and more broadly,” said Amr Kronfol, managing director at Warburg Pincus. “Helix has a proven and tested platform for generating high-quality genomic data, securing it, and making it portable so that it can provide a lifetime of insights to health systems, life sciences companies, and payers all working toward a healthier world.”
Helix uses its proprietary Exome+® assay to sequence approximately 20,000 protein-coding genes and 300,000 informative non-coding regions, creating a robust genomic profile. Health systems, life sciences companies, and payers use this data to power innovative population health programs, helping to improve health outcomes, increase patient engagement, and accelerate innovative research. Additionally, Helix is leveraging its expertise in large-scale next-generation sequencing to drive its rapidly growing viral surveillance offering to help organizations detect, characterize, and better understand the impact of emerging strains of COVID-19.
“Understanding the genomic make-up of individuals is leading the advancement of more personalized, customized health offerings,” said James Lu, MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Helix. “And the novel FDA pathway we created for our Helix® Laboratory Platform means that Helix and our partners will be able to develop and obtain market authorization for future tests using subsets of sequencing data generated from the platform, including for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and carrier screening.”
Helix operates one of the world’s largest CLIA-certified and-CAP-accredited next generation sequencing laboratories, which powers both its Exome+® and COVID-19 viral sequencing efforts. In January 2021, the Helix Laboratory Platform was awarded the first and only FDA authorization for a whole exome sequencing platform. Since its founding in 2015, Helix has empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals to improve their lives through their DNA including through large-scale population health initiatives including Renown Health’s Healthy Nevada Project and Mayo Clinic’s Tapestry program.