Press release

Phase Genomics to Develop Commercial Platform for the Discovery of New Viruses with $1.7 Million Grant

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Phase Genomics, Inc., the biotech leader providing proximity-ligation solutions for the genomics community, announced today the receipt of a $1.7MM grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). This funding will fuel the commercialization of a first-in-class solution for the discovery of DNA viruses, employing a novel reagent kit and robust software platform that leverages Phase Genomics’ proprietary Hi-C technology.

This user-friendly method to assemble viral genomes from metagenomic samples and link these viruses with their microbial hosts will further our understanding of antimicrobial resistance and accelerate phage therapy development, according to Phase Genomics’ CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Ivan Liachko.

“Our new platform will offer pharmaceutical and microbiological researchers a valuable new dimension in understanding bacteriophage and their microbial hosts within complex microbial communities,” explained Dr. Liachko. “The application of this new platform will rapidly expand our understanding and the utility of phage on many facets of microbial biology and human health.”

Only a minute fraction of global phage genomes is represented in public databases, creating a significant obstacle to innovation, in part because of the difficulty of isolating phage whose hosts cannot be cultured in laboratory settings. Phase Genomics’ new technology will drastically increase the number of high-quality phage genomes available for research and pharmaceutical exploitation.

Phage therapy leverages bacteria viruses to attack and help remedy bacterial infections. Phage viruses only attack bacteria and are harmless to people. The bacteriophage therapy market is estimated to grow to $140MM annually by 2028. Phase Genomics’ commercial virus discovery platform is expected to be produced, released, and available for commercial applications by mid-2021.

To date, Phase Genomics has earned $5.2MM in grant funding to develop proximity-ligation-based methods for microbiome discovery and antibiotic resistance tracking from the NIH, Department of Energy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Phase Genomics is also funded by revenue from sales of its proximity ligation (Hi-C) kits, scientific services, and computational analysis.

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ABOUT PHASE GENOMICS – Phase Genomics applies Hi-C and other proximity-ligation methods to enable chromosome-scale genome assembly, metagenomic deconvolution, as well as analysis of structural genomic variation and genome architecture. They offer a comprehensive portfolio of laboratory and computational services and products, including Hi-C kits for plants, animals, microbes, and human samples as well as industry-leading genome and metagenome assembly and analysis software. Based in Seattle, WA, the company was founded in 2015 by a team of genome scientists, software engineers, and entrepreneurs. The company’s mission is to empower scientists with genomic tools that accelerate breakthrough discoveries.