Health

Yuri Milner is betting big on genetics, pouring millions into GenapSys

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The latest investment from Russian millionaire and entrepreneur Yuri Milner is in a genetics upstart called GenapSys.

Like many other technology investors, Milner is hoping to leverage the plummeting cost of sequencing human genes. He recently invested in genetics testing startup 23andme, and today he poured funding into Redwood City, Calif.-based biotech startup GenapSys.

GenapSys raised a total of $37 million in its series B round, which is sizable for a bio-tech company.

In the near future, geneticists believe, most people will have their genome sequenced. GenapSys is one of the companies that is making this vision a reality with its gene sequencing platform. Its low-cost system is known as GENIUS 110.

Related: Read more about how genome entrepreneurs are leveraging data to help us live longer. 

“What we are developing at GenapSys will enable the genomic revolution not only for healthcare, but for a wide range of applications,” said Dr. Hesaam Esfandyarpour, GenapSys founder and chief executive, in a statement. “Genomics will improve the quality of human life and elevate our understanding and knowledge about the world in which we live.”

According to In Sequence, the goal of the system is to sequence a genome at a consumables cost of $50, at an accuracy of more than 99.7 percent.

In addition to investing in bio-tech startups, Milner — alongside Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Brin and others — recently helped launch a Breakthrough Science Fund for Life Sciences research.

Investors in GenapSys include Milner, Stanford’s StartX fund, Decheng Capital, IPV Capital, and a number of other unnamed private and institutional investors. Milner made billions through early investments in Facebook and Zynga.

 

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