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GenePeeks launches preconception test for combined risk of passing on genetic diseases

Published 26 January 2017

GenePeeks, a computational genomics company, has launched its proprietary next-generation screening platform.

Unlike carrier screening, which reports individual carrier status for a limited number of diseases, GenePeeks computationally predicts the genetic risk profile of a future child using a comprehensive approach called Virtual Progeny Analytics (VPA).

GenePeeks’ patented VPA technology digitally combines genetic information from two prospective parents to generate and analyze thousands of potential genetic combinations—enabling high-resolution visibility into the risk of conceiving a child with any one of more than 1,000 heritable genetic diseases.

“In the field of genetics, new discoveries about genes and gene function are being made almost daily,” said Anne Morriss, Co-Founder and CEO of GenePeeks.

“Advances in computing power and analytics have allowed us to harness that insight and make it more actionable, much earlier in the fertility journey. We’re delighted to be introducing technology that will move us beyond a conversation about carrier status to one where we focus on the true disease risk that could be inherited by a future child.”

GenePeeks is dedicated to uncovering the risk that matters most – reproductive risk that threatens the health of future generations versus the low utility and high anxiety that can be associated with carrier testing.

GenePeeks’ patented VPA analysis integrates DNA information from both prospective parents to predict the genome of a future child they might conceive. For every gene copy in these hypothetical genomes, the company computes a Variant Gene Dysfunction (VGD) score that integrates critical risk data such as predicted gene function and allele frequency.

This approach allows the company to continually increase the sensitivity of its screening technology and evaluate variants that may remain uncharacterized by other genetic tests.

GenePeeks is easily and cost-effectively integrated into the clinical workflow for rapid implementation by practices, reducing the complexity and counseling burden associated with conventional carrier screening protocols. The company offers physician-ordered testing and analytics performed in its clinical laboratory.

“We’re committed to providing our patients the best, most comprehensive care, so we’re thrilled to be one of the first centers in the U.S. to offer the GenePeeks service,” said Lorna Marshall M.D., Pacific Northwest Fertility and IVF Specialists. “GenePeeks helps us deliver the actionable, science-driven data that our patients and physicians demand.”

GenePeeks raised $16M in Series B funding in 2016. The financing was led by 5AM Ventures and included participation from Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, Alta Partners and a number of individual investors.

GenePeeks is using the capital for continued development and commercialization of the company’s proprietary genetic screening technologies.



Source: Company Press Release