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China's iCarbonX Invests in SomaLogic, Grows Medical Data Alliance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Chinese artificial intelligence-driven bioinformatics startup iCarbonX has invested $400 million into seven companies, adding them to its data-sharing alliance.

The companies joining the iCarbonX Digital Life Alliance are proteomics firm SomaLogic, microbiome therapeutics firm AOBiome, immune system diagnostics firm HealthTell, consumer health data-sharing platform PatientsLikeMe, microbiome diagnostics firm General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT), health modeling firm (and iCarbonX acquisition) Imagu, and recombinant enzyme and cosmetics firm Robustinique.

Founded in 2015 by former BGI CEO Jun Wang, iCarbonX has developed Meum, an AI-based data management platform that combines and mines molecular, phenotypic, behavioral, and environmental data.

"Today we know a great deal about how genes impact our health," Wang said in a statement. "But for that knowledge to be useful, we need to know how disease and aging manifest in the body over time, and how our everyday choices affect their progression. This ecosystem will be capable of connecting the biology and experience of individuals, and of creating useful, predictive algorithms to illuminate personal susceptibilities, differences in body functions, and variations in treatment responses."

Under the terms of their agreement, Boulder, Colorado-based SomaLogic will provide proteomics data and applications expertise to the Alliance and will establish a joint venture with iCarbonX in China to provide its SOMAscan proteomics assay for research and health applications in that country.

Financial and other terms of the SomaLogic deal, including the size of iCarbonX's equity investment, were not disclosed.

San Ramon, California-based HealthTell will provide the alliance with information about how an individual's immune system reacts to various medical, behavioral, or environmental factors. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Last year, the firm raised $26 million in Series B financing.

AOBiome, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will receive a $30 million investment from iCarbonX. The firm is launching a Phase 2 clinical trial for microbiome-based therapeutics targeting hypertension.

Also based in Cambridge, PatientsLikeMe said in a statement that it has raised more than $100 million between equity investments from iCarbonX and Invus, which had previously invested in the company.

In September, iCarbonX acquired Israel's Imagu, which is building AI-driven digital models of human health, for an undisclosed amount.