MedGenome wants to develop research and diagnostics around rare diseases by looking at India’s population of 1.3 billion, and today the company announced funding of $30 million to further its mission. Sequoia Capital India and Sofina co-led the round, with participation from Zodius Capital and several individual investors.
“India’s genomic data is a treasure trove for the world because we can access population isolates from many distinct groups of people that have remained homogeneous over many generations,” wrote MedGenome founder and CEO Sam Santhosh, in an email to VentureBeat. “This yields huge potential to identify mutant genes that may cause disease so that we can better treat and even defeat diseases globally.”
Founded in 2013, MedGenome’s approach is twofold — on the one hand, it provides a range of genetic diagnostic tests in India, including prenatal, pediatric inherited disorders, and oncology testing. On the other hand, its lab in Silicon Valley offers sequencing platforms, bioinformatics, computing, and big data analytics.
“We provide what we learned from the Indian population to our pharma customers and researchers so they can better understand the biological basis for a disease,” wrote Santhosh.
The chief executive was very clear in specifying who his customers are. “They are researchers and clinicians at pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, and major academic medical centers,” he wrote. “While we do not offer ‘consumer genomics’ tests like 23andMe, we do offer genomic data for research and drug discovery purposes.”
To date, MedGenome has raised a total of $54 million. The company will use the fresh injection of capital to advance research in precision medicine and accelerate biomarker discovery programs. (Biomarkers are variations in genes or proteins in an individual that can signal likelihood of a disease or condition.)
MedGenome currently has more than 360 employees across its headquarters in Foster City, California and its offices/labs in Bangalore, Delhi, and Singapore.