Healthcare & MedTech

Shaping the Future of Healthcare: Genomics Raises £35M Funding to Propel Innovations in Polygenic Risk Scores

Our vision is that in 10 to 15 years of time, genetic information will be ubiquitous in the healthcare system.

SMEBRJanuary 10, 21:36

Professor Sir Peter Donnelly FRS, FMedSci is the Founder and CEO of Genomics. (Photo Credit: Genomics)

UK-based Genomics has successfully raised £35 million in funding to accelerate the adoption of polygenic risk scores, focusing on disease prediction and prevention through strategic partnerships with healthcare systems and pharmaceutical companies. Genomics, the University of Oxford spinout, aims to revolutionize genetic testing by examining combinations of genes, offering valuable insights into the likelihood of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular conditions.

While traditional testing for single genes provides useful health information around 2% of the time in healthy individuals, Genomics' polygenic risk scores deliver helpful advice approximately 70% of the time, based on the company's analysis of UK biobank data.

Genomics, led by CEO Sir Peter Donnelly, emphasizes the cost-effective and accessible nature of its genetic sequencing approach, known as genotyping. The company's tests identify individuals at high risk, who may otherwise remain "invisible to the system."

For example, Genomics points out that 15 to 20% of UK women are at high risk for breast cancer due to a combination of genes, requiring mammograms in their 40s. However, these individuals can only be identified through the company's innovative polygenic risk scoring.

“Our vision is that in 10 to 15 years of time, genetic information will be ubiquitous in healthcare systems,” the CEO said. 

The recent funding round, totaling $100 million for the 10-year-old company, was led by existing US investors F-Prime Capital and Foresight Partners. New investors include Infinity Investment Partners and MassMutual. Genomics plans to utilize the funds to expand its commercial workforce and anticipates that the capital will sustain the company until it achieves profitability.

In collaboration with the UK's National Health Service, Genomics is conducting a clinical trial to integrate its prediction technology into general practitioners' routine work. Although the practice is currently limited to a select few companies, Genomics sees potential for widespread adoption in the future.

Genomics actively contributes risk scores to the UK's Our Future Health project, with expectations that millions of people in the UK will soon have personalized risk information based on the company's innovative tools.

The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly recognizing the value of polygenic risk scores for discovering new drug targets, selecting patients for clinical trials, and expanding the use of existing drugs to larger populations.

Genomics collaborates with external data sources such as the UK biobank and Taiwan's precision medicine initiative. However, the company's most valuable resource is its internal database, comprising data from tens of thousands of research studies.