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Illumina Names Five New Startups for Accelerator Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illumina announced on Thursday that it has selected five new startups for its accelerator program, which is now in its seventh funding cycle.

The companies include DermBiont, a skin microbial therapeutics developer; MedAnswers, a digital health firm using big data and genetics for fertility applications; Mediphage Bioceuticals, which is developing a phage-based drug discovery platform for chronic disease; TruGenomix Health, which is developing personalized treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder; and genomic and health data analysis firm Unite Genomics.

During the program's six-month cycle, Illumina will provide these companies with access to fully equipped lab and office space, which include its sequencing systems and reagents. Startups are also provided capital and access to seeding funding from accredited investors through a convertible note, and are eligible for dollar-for-dollar match funding from the $40 million Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital fund when they raise between $1 million and $5 million in qualifying capital.

The accelerator program also recently partnered with Helix, which will provide MedAnswers with added support to help it develop a consumer application for Helix's online marketplace.

Illumina launched its accelerator in 2014 to provide biotech startups with investment capital, genomics expertise, and other resources. Past participants include Encompass Bioscience, Encoded Genomics, Resilient Biotics, and Saudi Arabia-based Center of Individualized Diagnostic — the program's first international fellow.