Nucleus Genomics lands new funding from Alexis Ohanian to help people assess specific disease risks – TechCrunch

Nuclear genome, a genetic testing company focused on calculating a patient’s risk of certain diseases, is adding $14 million to their initial seed funding round. With this round, the company raised a total of $17.5 million.

This “plus seed” funding round is led by Alexis Ohanian’s 776. Ohanian is joining investors such as Founders Fund, Adrian Aoun (CEO at Forward Health), Brent Saunders (former CEO) at Allergan), Matteo Franceschetti (CEO at Eight Sleep), and others. Nucleus initially announced a $3.5 million seed round back in December 2021.

Typically, Nucleus users will upload their own genetic results previously obtained by a home testing company like 23andMe or Ancestry. Nucleus will then calculate a polygenic risk score, which is a measure that provides a genetic predisposition to an underlying condition and provides information about said risk on their platform. Customers also have the option of ordering their own genetic testing kit provided by the company.

Polygenic risk scores have been scrutinized for their potential bias. In one research published in the National Library of Medicine, nearly 80% of the participants in the genetic study (and baseline) were of European ancestry, and did not account for demographic differences, such as race.

“In terms of genetics, they are very European biased, so when we actually build the models, we want to make sure the models work for everyone, not just the US or anything. what’s there,” said founder and CEO Kian Sadeghi.

While Nucleus allows users to upload their genetic information obtained by third parties, Sadeghi said there is “no need for a formal partnership” with those companies.

So far, the company remains “focused on risk assessment,” but the funds from this round will be used to grow their current team across different sectors. In addition, the company will set up its own genetic testing infrastructure and purchase test kits in bulk.

Sadeghi added, he wants (and will allow) users the most control over their data.

When users register on the platform, they will be asked how they would like their data shared, if even, in addition to providing the option whether the user would like to provide the data to research teams for “advanced research and medicine” according to the company.

“Nucleus believes very strongly in the ownership and control of the underlying data,” Sadeghi said. “Suffice to say, we are built in our DNA for maximum data ownership and data control. You decide if your data is shared and if so, with whom, when and how. “

However, the company has yet to launch the mainstream, and it’s unclear what this will look like for users on the company’s platform.

The company hinted in an interview with TechCrunch that it’s likely to expand internationally, and for Sadeghi, he says it aligns with the vision he’s had since day one. .

“When we say the human genome and every smartphone, we’re not kidding,” Sadeghi said. “We truly see a world beyond the boundaries of the United States, where people can participate and interact and take charge of their own health decisions.”

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