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US-Israeli company seeking to revolutionize DNA sequencing availability emerges from stealth

Ultima Genomics has raised $600 million to date

DNA strand analysis, illustration. Photo: BIGSTOCK / Copyright: Andrew Suslov
DNA strand analysis, illustration. Photo: BIGSTOCK / Copyright: Andrew Suslov

Ultima Genomics has emerged from stealth mode with a new high-throughput, low-cost sequencing platform that delivers the $100 genome. The American-Israeli company’s goal is to “unleash a new era in genomics-driven research and healthcare”. To date, it has secured approximately $600 million in backing from leading investors who share this vision.

Biology's complexity and dynamic nature has created a virtually unlimited need for genomic information, says the company in an official announcement, noting that currently, routine adoption of sequencing for research and diagnosis is severely constrained by cost.

Over the last five years, Ultima Genomics has developed a fundamentally new sequencing architecture designed to scale beyond conventional approaches, including completely different approaches to flow cell engineering, sequencing chemistry, and machine learning.

"DNA is nature's storage media and the instruction set for every living organism, yet with current technologies, we can't access that information at the scale needed to truly understand complex biology" said Gilad Almogy, Ultima Genomics' founder and Chief Executive Officer.

"Our architecture is intended for radical scaling, and the $100 genome is merely the first example of what it can deliver. We are committed to continuously drive down the cost of genomic information until it is routinely used in every part of the healthcare system."

"Scientists and clinicians continuously make tradeoffs between the breadth, depth, and frequency of genomic information they collect," Doron Lipson, Chief Scientific Officer of Ultima Genomics explains. "By overcoming the limitations of conventional next-generation sequencing technologies, researchers can now design experiments and clinical assays that were previously impossible."

"Ultima Genomics' architecture will revolutionize sequencing and take what we can do to a whole new level," said Michael Snyder, Director of the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford University. "The ability to sequence many thousands of genomes and epigenomes will transform diagnostics and disease risk prediction."

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