Navigenics Inc., a
Navigenics, Inc. launched officially today, naming a team of advisers and investors from leading communities in science, medicine, technology and public policy who are supporting the company.
Navigenics is a cutting-edge personalized, preventive health and wellness company, dedicated to improving health outcomes. The company will help people understand their genetic predisposition to disease and arm them with the information about what actions to take to help them stay healthy. Navigenics will accomplish this initially through use of a saliva-based, whole genome scan and analysis, matching an individual's DNA against scientifically and clinically vetted gene-disease correlation studies.
“The convergence of technology and biomedicine allows us to detect and act now to prevent the conditions that usually aren't revealed until later in life,” said Navigenics board member David Brailer, M.D., Ph.D. “This is the direction that healthcare is heading, and Navigenics has the opportunity to do it right the first time.”
In 2007 alone, more than 50 high-quality studies correlating genetics to more than a dozen diseases have been published in respected journals such as Science, Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine. These studies are based on complex genetics, using high-density whole genome scanning technology, with utility proven by hundreds of researchers worldwide over the past few years. The company intends to adopt new technologies, such as genome sequencing, as they become affordable and reliable.
The Healthcare Revolution
“Navigenics transforms healthcare by unraveling the mystery of your genes and helping you make informed, personal health decisions,” said Navigenics board member John Doerr. “And the company is attracting world-class partners and institutions to ensure state-of-the-art medical advice and services.”
Navigenics is developing relationships with leading medical institutions, including Cleveland Clinic, Georgetown University, Mayo Clinic, Scripps Health, and Partners HealthCare, an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. These institutions have the expertise in genomic medicine to support customers in follow-up care and diagnosis.
The company has also signed agreements with Mayo Clinic to provide health information on the Navigenics website, with Medscape to develop Continuing Medical Education (CME) materials for physicians, and with Affymetrix, Inc. to provide lab services via its CLIA-certified laboratory in Sacramento, California.
“Quality is critical to doing this right,” said Mari Baker, president and CEO of Navigenics. “We are working diligently with leading scientists, clinicians, genetic counselors, medical institutions and other partners to bring to individuals a service that is reliable and secure, and information that is understandable and actionable.”
Navigenics has established a group of clinical, scientific, policy and ethics advisers, bringing together some of the industry's top minds to the issue of consumer-empowered genetic health information. These include:
— David Agus, M.D., Chair, Clinical Advisory Board. Navigenics Co-
founder, Research Director of the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center
and Director of the Spielberg Family Center for Applied Proteomics at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Additional members of the Clinical Advisory Board
— Carlos Camargo, M.D., Emeritus Clinical Professor of Medicine,
— Daniel Federman, M.D., Carl W. Walter Distinguished Professor of
Medicine, Harvard Medical School;
— Bruce Landon, M.D., M.B.A., M.Sc., Associate Professor of Health
Care, Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of
Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center;
— Redonda Miller, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor of Medicine,
Johns Hopkins University;
— Michael Nierenberg, M.D., Medical Director, Navigenics and
Emeritus Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University.
— Jeffrey Trent, Ph.D., Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, President and
Scientific Director, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
Additional members of the Scientific Advisory Board
— David Botstein, Ph.D., Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics,
Princeton University and Member, National Academy of Science;
— Isaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D., Henderson Associate Professor of
Pediatrics and Health Sciences and Health Sciences and
Technology, Harvard Medical School;
— Nicholas J. Schork, Ph.D., Director of Research, Scripps Genomic
Medicine and Professor, Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The
Scripps Research Institute;
— Dietrich Stephan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer,
Navigenics; Deputy Director for Discovery Research,
Translational Genomics Research Institute; Director and Senior
Investigator, Neurogenomics Division, TGen; Chairman, NIH
Neuroscience Microarray Consortium.
— Peggy G. Conrad, M.S., CGC, Chair, Genetic Counseling Task Force. Ms.
Conrad is a practicing genetic counselor who helped to establish the
University of California-San Francisco Familial Gastrointestinal Cancer
Program. She has more than 10 years' experience in both the clinical
and research aspects of hereditary cancer genetics. Along with her
genetic counseling expertise, she brings with her experience from her
earlier career as a project manager for a pharmaceutical advertising
and marketing firm.
Additional members of the Genetic Counseling Task Force
— Elissa Levin, M.S., CGC Genetics Counseling Program Director,
— Kelly Ormond, M.S., CGC, Associate Professor in the Department
of Genetics and Director of the Human Genetics and Genetic
Counseling graduate training program at Stanford University;
past president, National Society of Genetic Counselors.
— Greg Simon, J.D., Chair, Policy and Ethics Task Force, President of
FasterCures-The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions.
Additional members of the Policy and Ethics Task Force
— Rachel Grob, M.A., Ph.D., Associate Dean of Graduate Studies,
Director Child Development Institute, Sarah Lawrence College,
and Investigator in Health Policy Research, funded by the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, 2006-09;
— Kathi Hanna, M.S., Ph.D., analyst, writer, and editor
specializing in biomedical research policy, previously, Research
Director and Editorial Consultant to President Clinton's
National Bioethics Advisory Commission;
— Paul Slovic, Ph.D., Founder and President, Decision Research.
Series B Financing
Navigenics is also announcing that it has closed a Series B financing round, led by new investor MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, and with continued pro rata investments from A-round investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Sequoia Capital. The company has raised more than $25 million in funding to date. As part of the investment from MDV, Sue Siegel has joined the Navigenics board of directors.
The Navigenics board of directors includes:
— David Agus, M.D., Co-founder, Navigenics
— Mari Baker, President and CEO, Navigenics
— David Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman, Health Evolution Partners
— John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
— Dana G. Mead, Jr., Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
— Sue Siegel, Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
Navigenics is a privately held company based in Redwood Shores, California. The company was founded by David Agus, M.D. and Dietrich Stephan, Ph.D., with the overall goal of improving health outcomes in individuals across the population. Navigenics educates and empowers customers with knowledge of their genetic predispositions, and then motivates them to act on the information to prevent the onset of disease, achieve earlier diagnosis, appropriately manage disease, or otherwise lessen its impact. Navigenics' lead investors are Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Sequoia Capital and MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures. More information at http://www.navigenics.com.