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Verge Genomics Scores $32M in Series A Round

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Verge Genomics, a startup developing machine learning technologies to apply genomics to drug discovery in neuroscience, said today that it has closed a $32 million Series A funding round.

Silicon Valley investment firm DFJ led the round, with participation from the WuXi AppTec's Corporate Venture Fund, the ALS Investment Fund, Agent Capital, and the OS Fund.

Founded in 2015, San Francisco-based Verge Genomics has raised $36 million to date. With the new investment, DFJ partner Emily Melton is joining the company's board of directors.

Verge Genomics, which focuses on neuroscience and experimental biology, has created proprietary patient genomic datasets for neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

"By vertically integrating machine learning and drug development capabilities under one roof, we have been able to quickly identify dozens of promising new therapeutic opportunities for devastating diseases such as ALS and Parkinson's disease," Verge Genomics Cofounder and CEO Alice Zhang said in a statement. "We wanted our investor syndicate to reflect the same interdisciplinary mindset and are excited to bring together top investors from both the biotech and technology sectors."

Zhang said that the new investment will allow the company to expand its datasets and to advance "our most promising" but unspecified drug candidates into clinical trials.

In May, Verge Genomics launched a single-cell sequencing project for Parkinson's disease in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, and Belgian life sciences research institute VIB.

Last year, the company formed an alliance with the Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University, the Massachusetts General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan Medical School to study ALS.