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8 February, 2021 - 11:13 By Tony Quested

£20m boost as Illumina unveils more genomics startups for Cambridge and US accelerator

Illumina, Inc. whose European research HQ is in Cambridge, has chosen nine new genomics companies to join the second global funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator in the US and UK – and unveiled fresh funding incentives for the cohort. 

The global company creation engine, focused on partnering with entrepreneurs to build breakthrough genomics startups, invested in four companies for the second funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, UK and five companies for the 12th funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area.

Illumina also reveals that over £20 million in initial UK capital commitments have been secured from a select group of investors, including a £10 million commitment from cornerstone investor LifeArc, a leading UK independent medical research charity anchored in Stevenage.

The UK commitments will provide pound-for-pound match funding to every Illumina Accelerator Cambridge graduate that secures between £500,000 up to £4 million in qualified new capital, within one year of graduation.

“The UK capital commitments will be instrumental in driving value for our Illumina Accelerator Cambridge startups as they strive to unlock the power of the genome,” said Amanda Cashin, co-founder and global head of Illumina for Startups.

During two, six-month funding cycles per year, Illumina Accelerator provides the selected tyros with access to seed investment and Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses in Cambridge, UK or the San Francisco Bay Area.

The newest companies to join Illumina Accelerator’s portfolio of genomics startups in Cambridge at a glance are as follows:

  • BiotaX Labs, a spinoff from Technion Research and Development Foundation Israel, is harnessing the power of the microbiome to diagnose and provide effective, tailored and safe microbial treatments.
  • Broken String Biosciences Limited, a genomics company from Cardiff, is developing a platform of novel sequencing tools to assess genome stability and to unlock the next generation of innovative medicines, including cell and gene therapies.
  • Mitra Bio Limited, a skin longevity company from London is building a non-invasive skin multi-omics platform to unravel skin health and delay ageing.
  • MultiplAI Health, a diagnostics company from London and Buenos Aires is leveraging advances in genomics and artificial intelligence to develop universal remote screening for cardiovascular diseases.

To date, Illumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups from across the globe which have collectively raised nearly $600 million in venture capital funding.

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