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26 October, 2020 - 10:00 By Tony Quested

Eagle swoops on $9m scale-up funding

Eagle Genomics CEO Anthony Finbow

Cambridge-based Eagle Genomics, a pioneer in applying network science to biology – particularly linked to the microbiome – has closed $9 million in new scale-up funding. 

The UK technology business will use the investment to further develop the capabilities of its powerful AI-augmented, knowledge discovery platform and to drive further commercial expansion across Europe and the US.

The biggest names in global food, cosmetics, personal care & AgriTech are looking to Eagle’s AI-augmented, knowledge discovery platform to distil robust scientific evidence in support of marketing claims that its products have a significantly positive biological impact.

Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF) and a consortium of investors from across science, AI and analytics fields have provided this latest, strategically-important round of investment which will support Eagle Genomics’ high-growth ambitions. 

The consortium, led by Granpool Innovative Investments, includes bpd partners, Anatom Holding and Albert-László Barabási among others. 

Barabási is a world-leading network science expert, proactive investor in cutting-edge health innovation, and distinguished professor and director of Northeastern University's Center for Complex Network Research.  Previously Eagle Genomics’ investors have backed trailblazers including Finch Therapeutics, Silicon Valley microbiome innovation company Pendulum Life and networked/personalised medicine leader Scipher Medicine.

Attracting such a high level of investment during a pandemic is testament to Eagle Genomics’ unique blend of microbiology and data science expertise, as well as its timely focus on driving powerful microbiome-related research. 

This is a field which is attracting the attention of global brands including Unilever, in response to huge and growing scientific interest in the role of microbes in maintaining health and wellbeing and promoting ecological renewal of the natural environment. 

The microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses present in virtually all living organisms, is directly linked with health and is proven to be affected by the products we use and consume. 

Eagle Genomics’ ground-breaking knowledge discovery platform, the e[datascientist]™, harnesses AI to analyse complex genomic and microbiomic data at scale, delivering new insight and allowing enterprise brands to assess the viability, efficacy and safety of products.

Eagle Genomics’ solution is finding significant traction with major household brands, as these organisations strive to demonstrate the link between their latest products and microbiome health. 

Unilever has already used the platform successfully to distil credible scientific evidence to support claims about its Zendium toothpaste, which uses natural enzymes to boost the good bacteria in the mouth – the first substantiated microbiome-based claim recorded in a product launch.

Eagle Genomics is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus

Microbiome-related research is big business now. Bill Gates has claimed that “Understanding the microbiome is as big a breakthrough as anything else we will do in health over the next two decades.” Eagle Genomics is Microsoft’s first microbiome-focused partner. 

The substantial new funding will accelerate the development of Eagle Genomics’ award-winning platform to meet surging demand from enterprise companies looking to solve grand challenges such as the future of food, sustainable agriculture, wellness, and treatment of non-communicable diseases. The investment will also support the company’s global expansion plans. 

“We are on course to establish Eagle Genomics as a market leader at this transformative time and anchor our position as the preeminent platform vendor enabling the digital reinvention of life sciences R & D,” said Anthony Finbow, CEO at Eagle Genomics. 

“The microbiome is a megatrend that is evolving very quickly, and we are the forefront of associated discovery with our unique solution to address the enterprise data challenge. 

“We have our sights set too on other complex data challenges including CRISPR and quantum biological challenges, such as understanding the immune response more fully. The potential is phenomenal, and we are immensely grateful to our supporters for sharing our vision and helping us to scale at this pivotal time.”

Rob Genieser, Partner at ETF Partners, added: “We are delighted to see Eagle Genomics go from strength to strength, and to be able to support this crucial next stage of growth. 

“The timing could not be better, with the world’s focus on disease and accelerated innovation and ever more in-silico innovation.”

Speaking for the investor consortium, Albert-László Barabási, said: “Some investment opportunities leap out, and Eagle Genomics certainly falls into that category. 

“This is an immensely exciting science, and the appetite for the company’s unique and powerful platform is clear from the work Eagle Genomics is already doing with the likes of Unilever and the advanced discussions with some of the biggest companies in the world.”

Eagle Genomics is anchored at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and is a pioneer in applying network science to biology – particularly linked to the microbiome. 

Its award-winning AI-augmented knowledge discovery platform, e[datascientist]™, helps companies looking to innovate with next-generation food, personal care, cosmetics and agritech products, supported by science. The platform harnesses the latest graph technology and Microsoft’s advanced machine learning and cognitive services.

Eagle Genomics became Microsoft Genomics' first microbiome partner in 2018. Today the fast-growing global business has operations in the world’s major centres for genomics and AI. 

Eagle Genomics works with five of the top 10 household and personal care companies in the world to create and launch new products which work in harmony with the human and ecological microbiome.

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