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Phosphorus genomics startup raises $10 million to test fertility

ICE Graveyard 27/07/2016 Jordan Crook

As the world of DNA sequencing becomes more efficient and less expensive, a number of companies are sprouting up within the space. The latest, Phosphorus, has just raised a $10 million Series A led by FirstMark.

Phosphorus is actually a spin-out from a previous genomics company called Recombine, which sold to CooperSurgical last year in a transaction valued at $85 million.

Recombine, led by Alexander Bisignano, offered a medical test that would sequence the genes of two parents who were trying to get pregnant, letting them know of any potential genetic disorders or recessive mutations that might affect their child.

In the sale, Recombine sold the tests themselves to CooperSurgical for expanded distribution, but kept the software platform and the data map.

Now Bisignano is looking to use that Recombine data map for his next venture, Phosophorus.

Phosphorus tackles a different thread in the tapestry of reproduction, testing couples for any possible signs of infertility. These tests allow customers to take preventative measures against any potential infertility, or simply let them know that they’re safe to start trying.

Because of the startup’s access to troves of data, both through the new Phosphorus tests and the Recombine data, which asks its customers to opt-in to anonymously share their genomic data, Phosphorus can detect things that might be missed in another test.

Part of the challenge for most physicians and clinical researchers is that they don’t have access to big enough sets of data to confirm their findings, or they simply don’t have the resources to parse through the large amounts of data they have.

Through the Phosphorus FertilityMap, physicians and researchers can tap into the Phosphorus product to conduct their own research. Meanwhile, fertility clinics and direct customers can use that data, and the resources necessary to interpret it, to reveal the direct links between our genes and our health.

From the Phosphorus website:

While prior studies examined one or two genetic factors in relation to fertility, FertilityMap takes a large-scale, multivariate approach: analyzing hundreds of clinical variables and thousands of genetic variants in the context of each participant’s personal, pregnancy and family medical history. FertilityMap aims to develop predictive algorithms to inform infertility diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment and help more families achieve successful pregnancies.

You can check out Phosphorus here.

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