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Illumina Accelerator Cambridge announces four chosen genomics start-ups and £20m match-funding pledge



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Illumina has announced the four genomics companies chosen for the second funding cycle of its Cambridge accelerator programme.

The Granta Park-based sequencing leader also announced more than £20million capital commitment from investors - including a £10m cornerstone investment from independent medical research charity LifeArc - that will provide pound-for-pound match funding for every Illumina Accelerator Cambridge graduate that secures between £500,000 and £4mn in qualified new capital, within one year of graduation.

Francis deSouza, CEO of Illumina, at the company’s EMEA HQ at Granta Park. Picture: Keith Heppell
Francis deSouza, CEO of Illumina, at the company’s EMEA HQ at Granta Park. Picture: Keith Heppell

The four companies chosen for this cycle are:

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

They join five others selected for the twelfth funding cycle of the Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area.

The accelerator programme - which runs in two, six-month funding cycles per year - provides start-ups with access to seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, business guidance, genomics expertise and fully operational lab space adjacent to Illumina’s campuses at Granta Park or the Bay Area.

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

Illumina Accelerator is accepting applications for the next global funding cycle, due by March 1, 2021. Find out more at https://emea.illumina.com/science/accelerator.html.

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