Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Forensic Genomics Firm Othram Raises $4M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Forensic genomics startup Othram said today that it has raised $4 million in Series A financing. Nimble Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, led the round.

Othram said it has also been awarded a $10,000 research sequencing grant from Illumina Accelerator, Illumina's business incubator.

Based in The Woodlands, Texas, Othram operates a forensic DNA sequencing laboratory that specializes in reconstructing genome sequences from degraded or low-input source material. The company is currently focused on applying its technology to identify human remains as part of humanitarian efforts.

One pilot partner is the DNA Jane Doe Project, a nonprofit initiative that works with law enforcement agencies and medical examiners to identify unidentified human remains. Othram is providing the initiative with access to its whole-genome sequencing service.

Othram CEO David Mittelman said in a statement that the firm is using its laboratory and informatics platform "for public good, by helping to name the nameless, and bringing closure for heartbroken families."

Mittelman previously served as CSO at Tute Genomics, which was acquired by PierianDx in 2016. Before that, he was a partner and CSO at Houston, Texas-based Gene by Gene. He also cofounded and served at CSO at Arpeggi, a sequencing analytics firm, prior to its acquisition by Gene by Gene in 2013.

Othram said it foresees applications in not only criminal investigations but also defense and security, and potentially in the clinic. Nick Griggs, Othram's director of sales, said in a statement that Othram "certainly has future plans to explore research and clinical applications" for its technology.

The Scan

Genes Linked to White-Tailed Jackrabbits' Winter Coat Color Change

Climate change, the researchers noted in Science, may lead to camouflage mismatch and increase predation of white-tailed jackrabbits.

Adenine Base Editor Targets SCID Mutation in New Study

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, report in Cell that adenine base editing was able to produce functional T lymphocytes in a model of severe combined immune deficiency.

Researchers Find Gene Affecting Alkaline Sensitivity in Plants

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science have found a locus affecting alkaline-salinity sensitivity, which could aid in efforts to improve crop productivity, as they report in Science.

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.