NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute said on Thursday that it is funding Helix to advance its infrastructure, data systems, and technology for genomic surveillance of viral pathogens. According to Helix, the size of the funding is $898,000.
"Omicron's rapid spread continues to highlight the need for durable pathogen surveillance capabilities that will allow local communities to prepare for and prevent pandemic outbreaks," Rick Bright, senior VP of pandemic prevention and response at the Rockefeller Foundation and CEO of the Pandemic Prevention Institute, said in a statement.
"We are excited to partner with the Pandemic Prevention Institute to develop sustainable data generation and exchange technologies for improved pathogen surveillance," added James Lu, CEO and cofounder of Helix. "These capabilities are indispensable today for COVID-19 and will similarly be essential for monitoring other respiratory pathogens like pandemic influenza."
Since last winter, Helix has been contributing to COVID-19 surveillance sequencing, including providing reports to state public health authorities, health systems, and other healthcare institutions.
The new funding will allow Helix to develop increased surveillance capabilities for respiratory illnesses, initially at five health systems, including several that support underserved communities.