Illumina, San Diego, Calif, has selected nine new genomics companies to join the second global funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator in the United States and the United Kingdom. The global company creation engine, focused on partnering with entrepreneurs to build breakthrough genomics startups, invested in four companies for the second funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK and five companies for the twelfth funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area.

Illumina also announced over £20 million in initial UK capital commitments have been secured from a select group of investors, including a £10 million commitment from cornerstone investor LifeArc, a leading UK independent medical research charity. The UK commitments will provide pound-for-pound match funding to every Illumina Accelerator Cambridge graduate that secures between £500,000 and up to £4 million in qualified new capital, within one year of graduation.

“The UK capital commitments will be instrumental in driving value for our Illumina Accelerator Cambridge startups as they strive to unlock the power of the genome,” says Amanda Cashin, PhD, co-founder and global head of Illumina for Startups.

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 

  • BiotaX Labs LTD, a spinoff from Technion Research and Development Foundation (TRDF) Israel, is harnessing the power of the microbiome to diagnose and provide effective, tailored and safe microbial treatments. 
  • Broken String Biosciences Limited, a genomics company from Cardiff, UK, is developing a platform of novel sequencing tools to assess genome stability and to unlock the next generation of innovative medicines, including cell and gene therapies. 
  • Mitra Bio Limited, a skin longevity company from London, UK, is building a non-invasive skin multi-omics platform to unravel skin health and delay aging. 
  • MultiplAI Health LTD, a diagnostics company from London, UK and Buenos Aires, Argentina, is leveraging advances in genomics and artificial intelligence to develop universal remote screening for cardiovascular diseases. 

Illumina Accelerator SF Bay Area 

  • Doloromics Inc., a pain therapeutics discovery company from Dallas, Texas, is building a proprietary platform for discovery of disease-specific pain mechanisms, biomarkers and therapeutics. 
  • Flightpath Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company from Berkeley, California is advancing microbiome-targeted therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of rare infectious diseases. 
  • Oshun Medical Inc., a women’s health diagnostics company from the SF Bay Area, is working to predict pregnancy complications in women around the world. 
  • Parallel Health Inc., a skin microbiome company from the SF Bay Area, aims to revolutionize skin and body care by providing deep insights and true personalization through best-in-class testing and targeted microbial formulations. 
  • Rubik Therapeutics, Inc., a cancer therapeutics company from Greater Boston, is leveraging computational biology and genome-wide screens to develop engineered cell therapies for solid tumor indications. 

“Our newest investments demonstrate the depth and breadth of genomics applications across the globe,” says Alex Aravanis, MD, PhD, chief technology officer at Illumina. “These nine genomics startups are focused on discovering breakthrough therapeutics, diagnostics, and direct-to-consumer applications to transform human health and beyond.”

Illumina Accelerator is accepting applications for the next global funding cycle, which are due by March 1, 2021. Through a single, global application process, Illumina Accelerator will select up to five companies in each location. 

To learn more and apply, visit Illumina.