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Illumina Adds Seven Genomics Startups to Accelerator Program

NEW YORK — Illumina said on Wednesday that it has invested in seven new genomics companies as part of its international accelerator program.

During two six-month funding cycles each year, the Illumina Accelerator provides chosen startups with undisclosed seed funding, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, lab space adjacent to Illumina's campuses in the Bay Area or Cambridge, UK, and access to business guidance and genomics expertise.

The latest companies to join the program at Illumina's UK campus include South Africa's Bixbio, which is using genetic data in Africa for precision medicine; EpiCombi.AI, an Oxford University spinout developing drugs based on genomic signatures; Genegoggle, a Polish firm using multidimensional genomic and epigenetic elements for drug discovery; and Israel's NewStem, a cancer therapeutics and diagnostics company using a proprietary haploid human embryonic stem cells library of mutations.

Companies joining the Bay Area-based accelerator program include ImYoo, a single-cell transcriptomics company in San Mateo, California; Solena, a Mexican agbio firm; and San Francisco-based food tech company Yali Biosciences.

"Our newest investments demonstrate the depth and breadth of genomics applications across the globe," Alex Aravanis, chief technology officer at Illumina, said in a statement. "These seven genomics startups are focused on discovering breakthrough therapeutics, diagnostics, and direct-to-consumer applications to transform human health and beyond."

Illumina launched the accelerator program at its Bay Area site in 2014 and expanded it to its UK campus in 2019. Through the program, it has invested in 61 companies, which collectively have raised over $1 billion in venture capital to date.

Earlier this year, Illumina added nine companies to the program and unveiled an investment matching fund for graduates of the program at its UK site.

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