Genetic data interpretation startup raises $6M

Emedgene's constantly updating algorithm highlights genetic variants that could affect a patient's health.
By Dave Muoio
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Emedgene, a startup that employs artificial intelligence to interpret genetic data, has closed a $6 million round led by OliveTree Ventures.

What they do

Trained using data from patient cases, publications and genomics databases, Emedgene’s decision support engine can identify and highlight clinically relevant genetic variants for the provider. The platform is supported by a digital workbench that helps users unify, prioritize and share case data, and continuously employs machine learning and natural language processing to update its algorithm with relevant new findings. The tool will then apply its new logic to past cases automatically, allowing it to generate and surface new insights to the provider.

“Genetic medicine will inevitably become the medical standard of care, if we can remove the hurdles to wider adoption,” Einat Metzer, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “Emedgene does just that, with AI that can surface scientific knowledge in clinical settings, so that every patient has access to the best possible care.”

Emedgene’s platform is currently employed by Israel’s MoH 100K Genome Project and “dozens” of other global customers, according to the startup.

What it’s for

The company said in its funding announcement that the new financial support will be used to expand its sales operations within the US.

Market snapshot

Thanks to the growth of precision medicine and consumer genetic testing alike, trained geneticists and genetic counselors have found their interpretation services in high demand. As such, it’s little surprise that tech companies are exploring ways in which automation and AI could help relieve the burden.

For instance, just a few months ago Nvidia and the Scripps Research Translational Institute kicked off a collaboration focused on developing developing artificial intelligence and deep learning tools that will help analyze genomic and digital health sensor data, while the Department of Veterans Affairs and IBM Watson Health announced that it would be continuing a similar ongoing pilot focused specifically on cancer therapies. Meanwhile, Optra Health launched an AI voice assistant product for consumers, genetic counselors and researchers nearly a year ago today.

On the record

“OliveTree Ventures is focused on companies with strong technological advantage, in markets under disruption, that can scale to large populations,” Amir Lahat, general partner at Olive Tree Ventures, said in a statement. “Genetic testing and discovery are clearly undergoing rapid growth, and Emedgene has a game-changing solution rooted in a combination of technology and science. We’re excited to support the team in making personalized care a reality,”

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