Illumina Founding Scientist Leads NGS-Based Pathogen Detection Startup

July 27, 2018
Illumina Founding Scientist Leads NGS-Based Pathogen Detection Startup
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Culminating nearly two years of behind-the-scenes development work, Arc Bio this week introduced its first product, Galileo AMR an antimicrobial resistance software, that the company says will be the first of a series of next-gen sequencing based tools focused on pathogen detection.

“At Arc Bio, we are on a mission to improve the human condition by delivering new tools that profoundly change how disease is diagnosed, treated and managed. The launch of Galileo AMR is our first step towards achieving this goal,” Arc Bio CEO Todd Dickinson, Ph.D., a founding scientist at Illumina said in a press release. “As the CDC reports, every year over 2 million people are infected by antibiotic resistant bacteria, causing more than 23,000 deaths in the U.S. Rapid identification of various strains of antimicrobial resistance, and better understanding their transmission and evolution, is vital to protecting public health.”

Galileo AMR, according to the company, can provide accurate annotations for any gram-negative bacterial DNA sequence in less than five minutes. The cloud-based software tool was acquired from antimicrobial resistance (AMR) monitoring and control company Spokade, and was previously called MARA.

The company is co-founded by Carlos Bustamante, a population geneticist and professor of biomedical data science, genetics at Stanford University.

“Our goal at Arc Bio is to revolutionize pathogen detection by developing a unique NGS lab workflow and software solution that allows for smarter and simple to use analysis,” Bustamante said. “Our current emphasis is on assisting those in public health and life science research who study antimicrobial resistance transmission and evolution of gram-negative bacteria.”

The other co-founder is David Andrew Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard University.

“We know that there are more efficient ways to detect and annotate resistance in order to better protect and improve public health,” Sinclair said. “As Arc Bio evolves, we aim to play an increasingly significant role in combatting the global challenges of infectious disease and antibiotic resistance.”

Both Bustamante and Sinclair serve on the company’s Scientific Advisory Board and the company is based in two locations: Menlo Park, CA, and Cambridge, MA.