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Columbia, NYGC Researchers Spin Out New Company With $1M in Funding

CHICAGO (GenomeWeb) – The developers of a consumer-focused, smartphone-accessible genetic testing program called Seeq during beta testing have spun their technology out from the New York Genome Center into a new company called Gencove.

With $1 million in funding from several early-stage technology investors, Gencove is offering a $59.99 genome sequencing assay, ancestry and microbiome testing services, and results delivery via the web or a mobile app. The startup also has a portal for researchers as well as an application programming interface so software developers can create add-on apps.

Backers of the New York-based startup include Third Kind Venture Capital, Version One Ventures, Refactor Capital, SV Angel, Kresimir Penavic, and Balaji Srinivasan.

"Our goal is to build our technology into other genomics applications besides our own," Founder and CEO Joseph Pickrell told GenomeWeb via email.

According to Pickrell, who is also a human geneticist at Columbia University, Gencove can help third parties quickly create ancestry analysis sites and digital biobanks with no need to build physical infrastructure. "The next big biobanks may not need the support of a national government, but could be run by small companies, non-profits, or even individual grad students," he said in a statement.

A year ago, Pickrell told GenomeWeb that his team began developing Seeq in 2015 in response to growing interest from the general population to participate in genomics-based research projects as well as interest in what their genes can tell them about their ancestry, personality traits and quirks, and other details.