SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Helix, a personal genomics company, today launched the first online marketplace for DNA-powered products that offer insights on ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health and nutrition. Helix created the marketplace, Helix.com, by forging partnerships with innovative fitness and nutrition app developers, emerging genomics companies, and established healthcare institutions that were interested in or already integrating DNA sequencing into their commercial offerings. Helix’s inaugural marketplace partners include Admera Health, Azumio, DNAFit, Dot One, EverlyWell, Exploragen, Genome Medical, Insitome, Lose It!, National Geographic, Sema4, and Vinome. The company also has a roster of coming-soon partners, and anticipates launching products from additional partners including Geisinger, HumanCode, Intelliseq, Invitae, Mayo Clinic, Precise.ly, and WellnessFX in 2017.
“We are proud to lead the evolution of personal genomics with the launch of the first online marketplace where people can access a vast range of personalized DNA-powered products and insights tailored to every aspect of their lives,” said Robin Thurston, Chief Executive Officer of Helix. “Our understanding of how DNA impacts health and wellness is advancing rapidly and we are moving towards an era where insights from your DNA will be essential to how you live and the decisions you make, from the moment you wake up until the minute you go to sleep. The Helix marketplace makes this possible by providing an open platform for emerging and established businesses who can now build or enhance their products with DNA sequenced at our state-of-the-art CLIA- and CAP-accredited lab. The diverse set of partners featured on our marketplace is a testament to the real opportunity for a diverse range of organizations to make genomics accessible and actionable for every person.”
"We're thrilled that Geno 2.0 Next Generation by National Geographic was the first product to launch on Helix, and the evolution this brings to our Genographic project," said Nathan Moore, VP Strategy and Business Development, National Geographic Partners. "The Genographic project is about more than just individual ancestry insights–it's about participating in a much larger, first-of-its-kind genealogy project that maps the progress of human history.”
The Helix marketplace will offer over 20 products and services from our partners:
- Admera Health
- Dot One
- Genome Medical
- Lose It!
- National Geographic
Helix is also partnered with the following organizations on products and services coming soon:
- Mayo Clinic
All products will be available for purchase on the Helix marketplace at Helix.com
“We are thrilled to launch our first product on the Helix platform to empower people with the understanding of their own DNA and gain insights useful to their future family planning,” said Sema4 CEO Eric Schadt, PhD. “Sema4 and Helix are perfectly aligned in their missions to help every person gain greater access and understanding of their personal genomic data. Launching CarrierCheck on the Helix marketplace will provide people with an accessible carrier screen that also offers genetic counseling support.”
“We're very excited to offer DNA-powered products on Helix’s first-of-its-kind marketplace, which will allow every person to have greater visibility into their personal genomics data,” said Admera Health’s President and CEO, Guanghui Hu, PhD. "The ability to harness Next Generation Sequencing technology to identify genetic markers that research has linked to medically actionable diseases is ground-breaking, and will allow individuals to take ownership of their health."
Unlike other personal genomics companies that require a separate DNA sample for each test they provide, Helix collects and sequences a DNA sample once, and then securely stores and protects a customer’s DNA so they can order additional DNA-powered products from the Helix marketplace without providing another saliva sample. A customer's first purchase on Helix.com requires a saliva collection kit that has a onetime cost of $80. When a customer mails in a saliva sample to Helix’s CLIA- and CAP-accredited sequencing lab, their DNA is read with the Exome+ assay. Exome+ is a proprietary Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) assay that sequences all 22,000 protein-coding genes as well as additional information-rich areas identified by Helix’s scientific team. This yields 100 times more data than other techniques such as microarrays. Once the DNA is read, Helix securely shares only the relevant portion of a customer’s DNA data with the partner whose product the customer ordered, all with the express consent of the customer at the time of purchase. The partner then analyzes the data and provides insights directly to the customer. When a customer makes a subsequent purchase on Helix.com, they are only charged for the cost of the DNA-powered product, without any additional saliva kit required.
The Helix marketplace also offers customers access to independent genetic counseling before or after ordering any of their products through Genome Medical, a new genetics medical practice with a telemedicine network of genetic counselors and physicians. “Furthering the understanding of DNA as well as creating a safe and responsible way for our customers to interact with DNA-powered products are central to the success of our marketplace, and partnering with Genome Medical to offer education and counseling to help our customers navigate the genomics landscape helps us achieve both,” Thurston added.
Helix has a scientific advisory board (SAB) comprised of six of the world’s leading genomic experts with specialties in data science, genetic epidemiology, clinical genetics, bioethics, rare diseases, and oncology. Meet Helix’s SAB at: https://www.helix.com/team#scientific-advisory-board
“Today, large-scale genomic sequencing is on the verge of becoming part of the everyday practice of medicine,” said Robert Green, MD, MPH, a medical geneticist who is Chair of the Helix Scientific Advisory Board and Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “As the costs of sequencing decline, there is a growing appetite for health-related, ancestry-related and non-clinical genomics products. Offering lower cost genomics products in many forms will speed the normalization and democratization of genomics and lead to a better understanding of the validity and utility of such products.”
Helix is a personal genomics company with a simple but powerful mission: to empower every person to improve their life through DNA. We’ve created the first marketplace for DNA-powered products where people can explore diverse and uniquely personalized products developed by high-quality partners. Helix handles sample collection, DNA sequencing, and secure data storage so that our partners can integrate DNA insights into products across a range of categories, including ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health and nutrition. From profound insights to just-for-fun discoveries, Helix is here to help people live a fuller life. Helix is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has a CLIA- and CAP-accredited Next Generation Sequencing lab powered by Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) NGS technology, in San Diego. Helix was created in 2015 with founding support from Illumina, its largest shareholder. Learn more at www.helix.com.
Helix, the Helix logo and Exome+ are trademarks of Helix Opco, LLC. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.
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