Omicia: Moore’s Law & The Coming Genomics Revolution

06.08.2016 : -

For the last 50 years, Moore’s Law has been almost an absolute constant for measuring progress in technology. With astounding predictability, Gordon Moore’s famous observation in 1965 on the doubling of components per chip became a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that served has served as an industry benchmark. Recently, there’s been renewed discussion of limits to Moore’s law, and this has led to more for research and investment in new computing paradigms like Quantum Computing.

moore-law

The end result of this methodical and exponential increase in computing power has been significant deflation in the cost of computing. Software companies and their end users have reaped massive benefits of this cost reduction by being able to develop ever more advanced applications. It’s easy to forget that the iPhone 6s in your pocket has substantially more computing power than IBM’s Deep Blue that defeated Gary Kasparov in chess in 1997.

Moore’s Law is rightfully cited as one of the standards of technological progress. What’s often overlooked is the dramatic decline in the price of sequencing the human genome. It cost $95,263,072 to sequence one human genome in 2001. By 2015, the cost dropped to $1,245.


Sequencing graphs JAN_13

Unfortunately for patients, the cost reduction in genomic sequencing is only half the solution. Sequencing a genome alone doesn’t provide insights, the output is essentially a large data file. To take advantage of the information, one has to manually analyze and interpret the sequenced genome through an expensive, laborious process. This is akin to Intel releasing a next generation i7 processor in 2016, but the only software available to run on it is MS-DOS.

“It takes 200 person hours for [clinical] interpretation of [of a human genome] which is more than $20,000,” — Michael Synder, Director for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford

Enter Omicia.

Omicia’s scalable software platform enables affordable genomic interpretation for cases like difficult childhood diseases, diagnoses for rare diseases, cancer screening, or cardiovascular disease risk.

We led Omicia’s Series A because we saw the enormous potential available to take both the power of genomic sequencing and it’s declining cost (hardware) and pair it with Omicia’s scalable platform (software) to bring clinically relevant information to patients and their physicians. Their progress has been impressive:

  • Dramatic reductions in the cost of clinical interpretation of the human genome
  • Partnering with the Genomics England to provide clinical interpretation services for the 100,000 Genomes project
  • A diverse customer base including over 500 research, pharma, and clinical diagnostics labs

Today’s announcement of a $23M Series B is another strong validation of Omicia’s accomplished team, their world-class product, and the opportunity to standardize genomic interpretation across the world to deliver truly personalized medicine. We’re thrilled to be joined by a great group of co-investors, healthcare system stakeholders, and strategic international partners to bring Omicia’s platform to the world.

At ARTIS, we look for companies that can deliver innovative solutions on a global scale to materially impact peoples’ lives. There is an immense opportunity to deliver significantly improved health outcomes using personalized medicine. We’re excited to watch Omicia deliver on this promise.

Stuart Peterson
Co-Founder & Senior Partner, ARTIS