By Allison Proffitt
August 8, 2013 | Arpeggi announced yesterday its impending acquisition by Gene By Gene, a Houston-based consumer genomics company that develops products for ancestry and genealogy applications. The new company hopes to make available an innovative suite of more affordable genetics testing and diagnostics services to consumers, researchers and healthcare providers.
The new company will keep the Gene By Gene name; financial details were not disclosed.
Arpeggi develops solutions for genome sequencing, data management and computational analysis. In April, the company released GCAT, the Genome Comparison and Analytic Testing
, a free community driven platform for evaluating the performance of nextgeneration sequencing (NGS) data analysis methods.
The company is funded by the Startup Health and GE Entrepreneurship Program, and develops proprietary sequencing tools, designed for scale, that enable accurate, fast, and costeffective analysis of genomes.
Gene by Gene is a private company that has developed a cash flow positive business, said David Mittelman of Arpeggi. Gene By Gene’s full-feature lab is state of the art with the latest Illumina sequencers and fully robotic sample handling capabilities.
“We were building the best model of the geneome we could build from next gen data and we’d done quite a bit, but the next growth opportunity for us would be a full vertical,” Mittleman told Bio-IT World. “We’d raised a seed round, and thought of building our own lab, but that takes money and time. We fell into discussion with Gene by Gene, originally looking for a way to use their data generation capabilities. And it occurred to us that if we merged we’d be more than the sum of the parts.”
“The acquisition of Arpeggi’s technology and worldclass team of data and technology experts will enable us to accelerate Gene By Gene’s plan to make nextgeneration DNA sequencing and clinical genomics accessible and affordable to all,” said Max Blankfeld, Managing Partner of Gene by Gene in a statement. “We are on a mission to transform health care by dramatically speeding up the process, and reducing the costs of genetic tests, which today are often far too expensive for the average consumer.”
"By forging Gene by Gene's state of the art lab and existing customer reach with Arpeggi's NGS analytics platform we can bring maximum value to the customer,” said Jason Wang, CTO of Arpeggi and now Gene By Gene. “We start with blood or saliva as an input and can produce extremely accurate assessments on genomic variation by owning the entire process and optimizing every step along the way. Our goal is to make personal genomics available to everyone by making it more affordable and easier to understand.”
Arpeggi was previously based in Austin, Texas, but the entire Arpeggi team and technology platform will be incorporated into Gene By Gene in Houston. Arpeggi’s founders will join Gene By Gene’s management team, effective immediately. Arpeggi’s Nir Leibovich was named Gene By Gene’s Chief Business Officer, Jason Wang was named Chief Technology Officer and David Mittelman, Ph.D was named Chief Scientific Officer.
Mittelman stressed that Arpeggi’s open data commitment “remains as strong as ever.” “We were interested in engaging the community and [with the Gene By Gene acquisition], we can do more now.” GCAT will remain a free, fully-supported resource.