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Illumina's accelerator has an impressive 93 percent follow-on funding rate -- here're its latest picks

Jonathan Shieber
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Since its launch in 1998, Illumina and its genetic analysis toolkits and services have become an essential component of the new biological manufacturing and therapeutic development industries that have emerged in the last 25 years.

And for the past six years the company has attempted to encourage the development of the industry through an incubator program that launches new startups in the field into the market.

Since its inaugural cohort in 2014, around 93% of its graduates have gone on to raise additional capital. As an example, investors have poured over $150 million into Encoded Therapeutics, a provider of targeted gene therapies.

Earlier this week, the company announced its latest cohort of startups that will work with its London and San Francisco-based teams.

They include:

  • AarogyaAI Innovations Pvt. LTD, a diagnostics company whose technology quickly diagnoses drug-resistance.
  • MEDIC Life Sciences Inc., which is developing a pre-clinical testbed of millions of tumor samples based on CRISPR and cancer organoids to enable personalized targeted therapies for cancer.
  • Pluton Biosciences, LLC, a developer of herbicides and pesticides derived from bacteria, fungi and viruses looking to replace chemical treatments.
  • WellSIM Biomedical Technologies, Inc., a tools company developing a high-throughput microfluidics-based automated processor to isolate and analyze exosomes.
  • Alchemab Therapeutics LTD, a developer of antibody therapeutics using patient antibodies.
  • Neurolytic Healthcare LTD, a diagnostics company providing genomics-driven diagnostics and personalized treatment recommendations for neurological conditions.
  • Tailor Bio LTD, a cancer diagnostics company developing a precision oncology platform to identify patterns in the genetics of tumors to predict how patients will respond to different therapies.

“As we navigate the current global pandemic, there is an even stronger urgency to create breakthrough genomics startups that will transform human health and beyond,” said Amanda Cashin, co-founder and Global Head of Illumina Accelerator, in a statement. “By opening our second location and partnering with seed stage capital investors, we are proud to invest in these transformative startups to push the boundaries of where genomics can go.”

The accelerator program has partnered with First In Ventures, an investment organization backed in part by the family office DBM Invest, in both the U.S. and the U.K. Wing Venture Capital will also continue to provide convertible notes in the U.S. while government entities through the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority will support companies in the U.K.

Illumina has also opened up applications for its next batch of companies.