Founded at Stanford University in 2008, Syapse has been on a mission to help disrupt healthcare by incorporating “omics” (or the study of fields within biology typically ending in “-omics,” like genomics, proteomics or metabolomics, for example) data into standard medical use. Simply put, Syapse is developing a suite of cloud-based applications that brings next-gen genomic sequencing to laboratories and clinics to help better diagnose and treat their patients. Through its software, the company is now processing over 3,000 genomes and has over 100 billion “omics” and clinical data points and 10 terabytes of genomic data under management, making it one of the largest repositories of human genome and clinical data out there.
Based on its traction thus far, Syapse is today announcing that it has raised $3 million in series A financing led by The Social+Capital Partnership. As a result of the investment, which brings its total funding to $4.5 million, Social+Capital founder Chamath Palihapitiya will be joining the startup’s board of directors.
So, what is it about the startup that has veteran investors like Palihapitiya so interested? The startup is working with companies like InVitae to make a new generation of clinical genetic testing accessible and affordable for the average Joe, and co-founder Glenn Winokur says that he sees startups like 23andMe — which have been making headlines of late for their progress in this regard — as potential customers down the road.
InVitae co-founder Randy Scott says that the collective goal companies like his and 23andMe are working toward is to bring genomics into everyday clinical practices and to enable “truly personalized” medicine. But to get there, companies need access to a whole new kind of scientific information infrastructure that enables them to connect genetic and clinical information across millions of individuals. And that’s where Syapse comes in.
The company’s flagship application, Syapse Discovery, provides companies and laboratories with an end-to-end solution that allows them to deploy next-gen sequencing-based diagnostics tests. Through its semantic data structure, Syapse users are able to bring “omics” data together with traditional medical information to both develop and deliver these diagnostic tests, while integrating their existing tools, sequencers and workflows.
Winokur says that the software is in fact compatible “with all major sequencers” and is used by “new system providers like GenapSys to automate sequencing workflows and cloud connect machines to track genomic profiles and quality metrics.”
In terms of where he sees this all going? The Syapse co-founder says that the ultimate goal is for hospitals and physicians to be able to access and use genomics information in patient care. “That is one of the biggest keys to unlocking the future of healthcare, and we’re working with our early customers to help make that happen.”
More on Syapse at home here.