- Investment will be used to further develop the Company’s Precisome platform for functional analysis
- New investment led by Oregon Venture Fund
- Dr Stephen Turner appointed as Senior Research Fellow to help lead company expansion
Eugene, Oregon, USA, 29 July 2019: NemaMetrix, an Oregon-based company that provides phenotyping and functional analysis using C. elegans nematodes, today announced it has closed a $5 million USD funding round to expand its Precisome platform: a tool for in vivo testing for early drug discovery, agribio, and precision medicine. The platform provides rapid phenotypic analysis and functional assessment of humanized model organisms. The funding, led by Oregon Venture Fund, will accelerate the Company’s capacity to help researchers shorten their project timelines for testing disease models. Along with the formal closure of the funding round, NemaMetrix also announced that Dr Stephen Turner has joined the Company as a Senior Research Fellow to help spearhead the Company’s expansion.
Early success of Precisome has been demonstrated in modelling children’s epilepsy, with preliminary findings published at the American Society of Human Genetics 2018. Dr Turner will work closely with NemaMetrix’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Hopkins to expand the Company’s offerings for drug discovery, agribio, and precision medicine.
Identifying promising drug hits or other chemical or therapeutic interventions can be a challenging and time-consuming process in a range of fields, as many promising hypotheses fail at the later stages of development. The $5 million USD funding secured by NemaMetrix for its Precisome platform will be used to develop data packages for in vivo validation, allowing researchers to conduct comprehensive proof of concept studies on the versatile C. elegans model organism, before proceeding to more complex and costly model systems. This will allow for investigation of the influence of genetic variants, drugs, compounds or toxins on disease pathology.
Dr Turner is founder and continues in his role as Chief Technical Officer at Pacific Biosciences, which was announced last November to be acquired by Illumina. In the late 1990s, he co-invented the single-molecule DNA sequencing technology now employed by Pacific Biosciences, and soon after, was awarded a Ph.D. in Physics by Cornell University. He is the author of over 50 scientific papers, contributing to fields ranging from DNA sequencing technology and biophysics, to genomics and epigenomics.
Matt Beaudet, CEO of NemaMetrix, said: “It is an exciting time to be working at NemaMetrix. The funding we have secured will help us to improve our Precisome platform for a range of disease-modelling applications, helping researchers more efficiently uncover valuable insights into disease mechanisms. Translating these findings from the lab to the clinic, we look forward to working with Dr Turner, who will use his extensive industry knowledge to build our partnerships with research organizations, scientists and clinicians.”
Dr Stephen Turner, Senior Research Fellow at NemaMetrix, said: “With the advent of clinical-grade sequencing, the frontier in genomic-based medicine moves from the production of data to its interpretation. Nemametrix’s Precisome represents the most advanced play I have seen towards in vivo analysis of function for unknown variants.”
For more information about Precisome, please visit: https://invivobiosystems.com/in-vivo-testing/
Notes to editors:
Dr Stephen Turner, Senior Research Fellow, NemaMetrix
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For further information please contact:
Matt Beaudet, CEO
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About NemaMetrix www.nemametrix.com
Founded in Eugene, Oregon in 2011, NemaMetrix’s mission is to create an industry standard in phenotypic measurements using C. elegans, enabling scientists and researchers around the world to better understand human diseases and explore potential treatments for high-impact disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), cardiac arrhythmias, and human & animal parasitology. The Company’s ScreenChip technology can acquire and display neuromuscular data in real time for reliable assessment of neuronal and physiological responses to genetic, drug effects and other environmental changes.
The Company was featured as one of the American innovation success stories by the Science Coalition in its latest Sparking Economic Growth reports released April 25, 2017.
About Oregon Venture Fund www.oregonventurefund.com
Founded in 2007, the Oregon Venture Fund (formerly Oregon Angel Fund) is a community supported, professionally managed, collaborative venture capital fund backed by the leaders of Oregon’s business, technology, and entrepreneurial communities. Consistently one of the top performing venture funds in North America, OVF invests $10 million annually in the most promising startups and growth companies in Oregon and SW Washington. Over 3,200 jobs have been created by the 63 companies in the portfolio. OVF’s largest investors include the State of Oregon, Oregon Community Foundation, and Meyer Memorial Trust.
In 2018, the group launched Oregon Venture Fund XII, to accommodate additional institutional investors and family offices. The $30M+ fund has a 5-year investing period and invests alongside each annual Oregon Venture Fund in the same portfolio.
For more information please visit: www.OregeonVentureFund.com