Gene Security Network Inc., a Portola Valley, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics company that uses data informatics to enhance genetic testing, has raised around $4 million in Series A funding. Claremont Creek Ventures led the round, and was joined by Sequoia Capital,
Gene Security Network, Inc., (GSN) a molecular diagnostics company using data informatics to enhance genetic testing, today announced the closing of approximately $4M Series A financing. Participants in the round included: Claremont Creek Ventures who led the Series A, Sequoia Capital,
GSN will use the investment capital to commercialize its proprietary genetic screening technology. GSN has developed a patented technology, termed Parental Support(tm), that enables highly accurate testing for multiple genetic diseases from a single cell. The technology is being clinically tested and commercialized for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) during in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The service will become available through the leading IVF Centers in the
“Our technology leverages the data from the human genome project to help parents have healthy babies through IVF, and can substantially impact the emotional and practical response to disease susceptibilities in a family. I am very pleased that Claremont Creek and Sequoia Capital share our vision”, said Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Gene Security Network.”We have a very experienced and respected group of investors, and the funding will allow us to expedite our clinical trials and commercialization path.”
In the process of IVF a single cell can be extracted from the embryo on day three after fertilization for genetic testing prior to implantation on day five. Since only a single copy of DNA is available from one cell, DNA measurements from conventional PGD techniques are highly error-prone and the number of loci that can be measured is limited.
“To date, the testing technologies used for PGD have a high error rate on the order of 10%, and are only able to detect a small number of abnormalities simultaneously”, said John Steuart, Claremont Creek managing director. “GSN's strategy of using data informatics to enable more accurate testing of multiple genetic factors simultaneously is a novel approach to a problem that laboratory techniques alone cannot sufficiently address.”
“In the burgeoning field of genomics, the real need is for more actionable tests that will meaningfully impact outcomes”, said Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. “The selection of embryos during IVF is unique in its ability to directly impact the outcome for the child and parents. Hundreds of thousands of couples who go through IVF annually will be able to benefit from the emerging information that links genes with disease through Gene Security Network's leading bioinformatics.”
About GSN's Parental SupportTM Technology
Parental SupportTM is the first PGD technology to leverage data informatics to deliver highly accurate single cell testing for both chromosome abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome, and multiple genetic diseases, such as muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. In addition, GSN's technology platform will support simultaneous reliable testing for both chromosome abnormalities and multiple genetic diseases from a single cell, an ability that has previously not been possible with existing PGD technologies.
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures is a venture capital firm that specializes in early stage information technology start-ups. One of the firm's chief areas of interest is the interface between IT and healthcare. Claremont Creeks' investment professionals share a deep commitment to helping entrepreneurs build successful companies from the ground up, drawing from decades of entrepreneurial, operational, and investment experience in the mobility, healthcare and security markets. Founded by Managing Directors Nat Goldhaber, Randy Hawks, and John Steuart, the firm is based in Oakland, California. For more information, please visit http://www.claremontvc.com/.
About Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital provides startup venture capital for very smart people who want to turn ideas into companies. As the “Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital's Partners have worked with innovators such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of Network Appliance, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Jen-Hsun Huang of nVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube, Dominic Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Wireless Networks and Jit Saxena of Netezza. To learn more about Sequoia Capital visit www.sequoiacap.com.
About Gene Security Network
Gene Security Network is a molecular diagnostics company that has developed proprietary bioinformatics technologies for complex testing of small quantities of genetic material. GSN will operate a laboratory for preimplantation genetic diagnosis to guide doctors in screening embryos for disease susceptibility during in-vitro fertilization. The company is based out of Sunnyvale, California. For more information please visit www.genesecurity.net.