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Illumina Makes Second Round of Investments in Genomics Startups Through Accelerator Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina has made a second round of investments in genomics start-up companies through its accelerator programs, the company said today.

The three startups are focused on healthcare, agriculture, and winemaking. PathoGn is a California-based infectious disease platform company using genomics and machine learning to build diagnostics and forecasting products for agriculture applications. Biome Makers was founded by The Wine Guys in Castile and Leon, Spain and will use genomics as quality control in wine making. Oregon-based Urology Diagnostics is developing noninvasive diagnostics based on sequencing urine to screen for and monitor cancer.

The three startups will each receive a seed investment, a subscription to Illumina's NextBio translational genomics database, access to match funding through the $40 million Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital, and sequencing systems and reagents. The companies will also gain access to lab space in the San Francisco Bay area during the six-month funding cycle.

Illumina launched its accelerator program last year. In July, the first three companies — Encoded Genomics, EpiBiome, and Xcell Biosciences — graduated from the program.

In a statement, Amanda Cashin, who leads Illumina Accelerator, said that Illumina's goal is to help the startups "create significant value, generate terabases of sequencing data, and advance their genomics applications."

Illumina plans accept startups to its accelerator program twice per year. The next set of applications are due Sept. 1.