Medical genetics company Invitae has announced it has agreed to acquire the consumer health-tech firm Ciitizen in a deal worth $325M.
The acquisition aligns with previous acquisitions of Invitae’s and its mission to ‘democratize genetic testing’ and make it more accessible to more people.
Ciitizen was set up by Anil Sethi, previously Apple’s Director of Health Records, and makes use of an individual’s HIPAA rights to access their own data to bring all their records and information into one digital record. The aim of this is to simplify medical bureaucracy and ultimately make treatments more evidence based and effective. People using the service can also opt to share their data with researchers working to develop treatments or cures for relevant conditions.
The company does not charge users for the service, but rather generates revenue by connecting pharma companies and advocacy groups with relevant health data—all with patient consent.
To help make the most of large amounts of often confusing medical data, Ciitizen has developed machine learning and AI technology to help extract the most useful information from medical records. For example, to match patients with clinical trials that might be relevant to their condition or disease and to help clinicians make better treatment decisions by extracting the most relevant data in an understandable format.
“Ciitizen has already helped patients take ownership of their medical records to optimize therapy for themselves and contribute their data towards a variety of goals, including research on rare diseases,” said Sethi. “Patients leave a breadcrumb trail of records behind them, and we believe access to this real-world data is key to personalized therapeutics in the future.”
Invitae wants to use the Ciitizen health data platform to make it easier for people to take charge of and use their genomic data together with their clinical information, something that aligns with the company’s goal of aggregating genetic testing into one service and improving turnaround time and costs.
Over the last five years, Invitae has made 13 acquisitions of different companies that have collectively allowed it to offer more tests, improve customer experience and lower test costs. Since early this year the company has raised $1.4 billion to expand and improve the company through deals such as the Ciitizen acquisition.
“Invitae is relentlessly pursuing a day when genetics is used routinely to improve healthcare for billions of people around the globe. We believe combining Ciitizen’s state-of-the-art, transparent and patient-consented platform with our technologies and services will accelerate our evolution into a genome information company that informs healthcare throughout one’s life,” said Sean George, co-founder and CEO of Invitae, in a press statement.
The agreement is for Invitae to acquire Ciitizen for $125 million in cash plus approximately 7 million shares of Invitae common stock, together worth approximately $325 million. Sethi will continue to lead Ciitizen as President and will take on a greater role in the combined company after the deal is completed. Invitae also plans to incentivize new employees, by issuing approximately $225 million in restricted stock units to individuals who join Invitae in connection with the Ciitizen acquisition.