Invitae said today it has agreed to acquire Clear Genetics for approximately $50 million in cash and stock, in a deal intended to expand the buyer’s ability to scale and deliver genetic information as part of routine medical care.
Clear Genetics’ HIPAA-compliant software platform is intended to enable genetic service providers to offer their services at scale by delivering actionable information to patients undergoing genetic testing.
Clear Genetics uses company-developed chatbots that also offer guidance for understanding test results. Through the acquisition, Invitae will gain access to Clear Genetics’ chatbot named Gia, short for “Genetic Information Assistant.”
Gia is designed to be an easy-to-use platform that guides patients throughout the process of genetic testing. Gia can guide patients regarding consent, personalized risk assessment, insurance benefits, pre/post-test education and understanding their test results, all through an intuitive online conversation. Patients ask Gia questions throughout the process, and Gia uses natural language processing to respond with the resources they need.
The chatbot was developed in collaboration with genetic counselors, with the goal of ensuring that information is offered in a medically responsible way. Gia is already being used by customers in Invitae’s direct channel.
In addition to Gia, Clear Genetics’ Clinic Hub provides clinicians with software designed for easy use to help manage patient care, including, for example, automated patient triage. The company’s software has been deployed at healthcare systems and clinics nationwide which include Geisinger and Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“Clear Genetics’ technologies have been designed to meet the needs of clinicians. In some ways, they can be thought of as a digital navigator for using genetic testing to care for patients,” Robert Nussbaum, chief medical officer of Invitae, said in a statement. “Clear Genetics, like Invitae, developed these tools with the goal of ensuring easier access to medically responsible, actionable genetic testing. Understanding how best to expand the use of these technologies will play an important role in answering how clinicians will harness the power of genetics in mainstream medicine.”
Under the companies’ definitive agreement, Invitae has agreed to acquire Clear Genetics for approximately $50 million, to consist of approximately $25 million in cash and the remainder in shares of Invitae common stock, subject to adjustment based on the net working capital of Clear Genetics at closing, among other factors.
A portion of such consideration will be subject to a hold back to satisfy indemnification obligations that may arise, and securityholders of Clear Genetics will have the right for Invitae to register for resale on Form S-3 shares of Invitae common stock issued in the acquisition, the companies said.
The acquisition is expected to close in the coming days, subject to customary closing conditions.
“We founded Clear Genetics with a mission to simplify the genetic testing process for as many people as possible by providing easy-to-use, automated tools that help both patient and clinician from initial appointment to results,” stated Moran Snir, Clear Genetics’ co-founder and CEO. “Our shared mission to bring genetics to mainstream medicine makes joining Invitae the perfect next step on our path to delivering better healthcare and personalized treatment options globally.”
Both Invitae and Clear Genetics are based in San Francisco. Last week, publicly-traded Invitae reported $56.5 million in third-quarter revenue, up 56% from Q3 2018, when the company generated $37.4 million. Invitae also reported accessioning more than 129,000 samples in July-September 2019, up 65% from 78,000 samples in the year-ago quarter.
Also during the third quarter, Invitae signed a contract with Cigna effective December 1, 2019, expanding the company’s payer reimbursement to all national commercial health plans, with approximately 295 million covered lives in-network.