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Illumina Selects Five More Startups for Accelerator Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illumina announced today that it has selected five new companies to be part of its accelerator program, which provides biotechnology startups with investment capital, genomics expertise, and other resources.

The companies selected in this round were Encompass Bioscience, a digital health firm that integrates genetic information into healthcare in order to personalize treatments; Checkerspot, which is designing high-performance materials using biotechnology and chemistry; Chimera Bioengineering, which is developing chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies; Mantra Bio, an immunotherapy drug discovery company; and Solarea Bio, which is developing next-generation probiotics from natural sources.

During the program's six-month funding cycle, Illumina will provide these companies with capital and access to seeding funding from accredited angel investors through a convertible note. They will also be provided with sequencing and genomics expertise and instrumentation, business coaching, and lab and office space in the San Francisco Bay area.

The startups will also be 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, and will receive a subscription to Illumina's BaseSpace Correlation Engine, BaseSpace Cohort Analyzer, and Clarity LIMS software.

Illumina launched the accelerator program in 2014 and has select a variety of companies for inclusion including Encoded Genomics, PathoGn, Biome Makers, MetaMixis, and Vitagene. Last year, the company named the Center of Individualized Diagnostic in Saudi Arabia as the first international fellow of the program.