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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Inocras Partners with Massive Bio to Improve Genome Sequencing

BIOTECH: Co.’s Bioinformatics Tech Platform Helps Patients with Cancer

SAN DIEGO – Sorrento Valley-based Inocras, a biotech startup focused on genome sequencing has teamed up with Massive Bio, a New York-based company to improve cancer patient care through its bioinformatics technology platform.

Jehee Suh
Founder and CEO

“This collaboration is an important step towards our vision of using whole-genome sequencing to improve patient outcomes,” said Jehee Suh, chief executive officer of Inocras.

“We’re working to improve actionability for cancer patients by combing CancerVision with MassiveBio’s clinical trial matching service,” said Suh. “This strategic collaboration leverages our expertise in whole genome sequencing (WGS) and Massive Bio’s advanced AI technology for clinical trial matching.”

Setting New Standard

The $52 million venture-backed startup is working to provide a wide variety of whole genome sequencing and analytics services for cancer and rare diseases.

In particular, the company’s bioinformatics software works by churning out reports detailing possible treatment options for cancer patients based on their genetic makeup  –  all at a price much more affordable than other whole-genome sequencing analyses.

To date, Inocras it has partnered with genomics company Ultima, is offering its services on Illumina’s high-throughput instrument, called NovaSeq X, and has expanded its AI-enabled capabilities with its Massive Bio partnership.

Toygun Onaran
Chief Financial Officer
Massive Bio

“This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to offering cancer patients the best care possible, tailored to their unique genetic profiles,” said Toygun Onaran, Chief Financial Officer at Massive Bio.

“We are setting a new standard in cancer care, emphasizing a data-driven and patient-centric approach by harnessing the power of AI and cutting-edge genomic testing to increase access for cancer patients benefiting from precision medicine,” said Onaran. “Together, we are charting a transformative path for cancer patients.”

AI-powered Delivery Model

Combining the two startups’ technologies will allow patients to become informed of future clinical trials, without the need for additional genetic tests.

This enables the company to deliver comprehensive genetic testing, while offering clinical trial matching to patients and healthcare providers alike.

Inocras’ platform leverages AI to comb through genetic sequencing data to look for mutations and fusions. It highlights the variants that are most likely to help inform a treatment plan.

For example, the CancerVision report can pinpoint the variations that have already been linked to FDA-approved treatments as well as those that are under investigation in clinical trials.

Rebecca Jang
Chief Strategy Officer

“This is a truly innovative delivery model for cancer patients,” said Rebecca Jang, Chief Strategy Officer at Inocras. “Massive Bio alliance is one of the core parts of how this platform works.”

“With our digital platform, we are merging several innovative aspects including whole genome sequencing testing, AI-driven clinical trial matching support, and genetic counseling support,” said Jang. “All of these virtually, at no trip required, helping save time and money for patients.”

Relocating to San Diego

Inocras, formerly known as Genome Insight, was founded in 2020 in South Korea by co-founders Young Seok Ju and Jeong Seok Lee, who are both physician-scientists and professors at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).

Two years after its founding, the startup was incorporated as a U.S. company and relocated to San Diego, which has become the hotbed for genomics companies on the west coast.

In November last year, the firm raised a $23 million in a second round of Series B round  –  led by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Asan Foundation, SCL Group, and Ignite Innovation. In total, Inocras has raised more than $50 million from institutional investors.

It has also teamed up with pediatric healthcare system Shriners Children’s to develop targeted treatments for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and partnered with Seoul National University Hospital to study pediatric solid cancers The majority of its employees are based in San Diego.

The four-year-old startup has more than 40 employees. It has already surpassed “millions” in annual sales, driven by partnerships with several large hospitals in Korea, Hong Kong and the United States, according to the firm.

Suh, its chief executive officer, took the helm of the company in January 2023, to scale the company to new heights.

CEO: Jehee Suh
HEADQUARTERS: Sorrento Valley
BUSINESS: Biotech focused on genome sequencing
WEBSITE: www.inocras.com
NOTABLE: Co. spun out of a university in South Korean and relocated to the U.S. to join the hotbed of genomic companies growing in San Diego.

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