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Genetic Testing Startup Recombine Raises $3.3M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genetic testing startup Recombine said yesterday that it has raised $3.3 million in a Series A financing.

New York venture capital firm FirstMark Capital led the round, and other participants included Vast Ventures, Vivek Garipalli, Alexander Saint-Amand, as well as Flatiron Health Co-founders Zach Weinberg and Nat Turner.

Recombine CEO Alex Bisignano told GenomeWeb Daily News that his company will use the proceeds from the round to build out is next-generation sequencing pipeline, as well as to expand its sales, engineering, and bioinformatics teams.

"We want to constantly be performing research and building out a strong pipeline of diagnostics," Bisignano said.

Established in New York in 2011, Recombine offers a test called CarrierMap that relies on a custom-designed, Illumina-manufactured microarray to test patients for mutations associated with 213 genetic diseases. The test is sold exclusively through doctors and clinics. Recombine has offered CarrierMap since last year, targeting it to fertility clinics, and it has processed 7,000 samples to date, Bisignano said.

While CarrierMap is array-based, Bisignano said that Recombine would like to offer next-generation sequencing as a follow-on assay for CarrierMap patients. He said that the firm has not yet selected the platform, but speculated that it could be an Illumina NextSeq 500 or Life Technologies Ion Proton system.

Recombine is also developing a multivariate, microarray-based assay focused on fertility, and is set to embark on a study involving 10 fertility clinics. Should that work be successful, Bisignano said that the company could launch a second assay, called FertilityMap, for research use by the end of the year. He said that it was the firm's strategy to participate in such studies to develop future tests.

Matt Turck, managing director at lead investor FirstMark Capital, on the company's website discussed the investment, praising Recombine's "spectacular early start with CarrierMap," and noting that the company's first product is already generating a "profitable, multi-million dollar business."