The Launch Place Makes Its Twentieth Investment
The Launch Place, a venture development organization with offices in Danville, VA, and Research Triangle Park, NC, has invested $150,000 from their Seed Fund II in Virginia-based healthcare startup Aperiomics. This marks The Launch Place’s twentieth investment since launching their first seed fund.
“We’re very thrilled to have reached this benchmark,” said President and CEO of The Launch Place, Eva Doss. “Not only does this company provide a service that makes an impact during this current state of global health, but it is also a female-led company.”
Aperiomics’ mission is to fundamentally shift the paradigm of infectious disease testing through Deep Shotgun Metagenomic DNA sequencing, advanced cloud computing, and artificial intelligence technology capable of identifying every pathogen known to modern science. Spun out of George Washington University in 2013 by a team of medical experts, technologists, and infectious disease researchers, Aperiomics is streamlining the diagnostics process, enabling physicians to uncover the root cause of infections with 97% sensitivity and 99.99% specificity. After going to market with their services, Aperiomics became well connected within the Virginia biotech space, where they were also introduced to members of The Launch Place.
Aperiomics’ services are for patients, clinicians, as well as researchers. Their advanced infectious disease identification technology is capable of testing the widest range of clinical sample types – skin, urine, fecal, blood, spinal fluid, environmental, and more – against a database of nearly 40,000 bacteria, viruses, fungi and other pathogens. This is a powerful tool for healthcare providers and can help get a patient on the road to recovery with the correct diagnosis. This removes lost time, wasted money and years of suffering some patients may experience when using older tests that only analyze a handful of microbes at a time.
Already covered by several major insurance companies, Aperiomics’ technology is an incredibly cost-effective mechanism for testing samples against a wide range of potential infectious diseases. Work is being done to ensure that Medicare reimbursements are provided for these services as well.
“Our next-generation testing platform serves as a critically important resource for healthcare providers – ensuring their patients do not suffer unnecessarily from treatable conditions” said Aperiomics CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Crystal R. Icenhour. “We are working to disrupt personalized medicine in a profound and innovative way, and our team at Aperiomics is excited to work with The Launch Place to advance positive clinical outcomes for patients across the country.”
Aperiomics has been on the clinical market for more than 3 years and partnered with more than 1,200 healthcare providers across 24 countries. In the future, Aperiomics’ technology could be utilized for clinical trials, genetic monitoring, bio-surveillance, microbiome characterization, quality monitoring programs and more. Most recently, Aperiomics has begun leveraging their resources and expertise towards increasing testing capacity for the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding that testing as many people as possible is key to keeping our population healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, Aperiomics is now capable of offering up to 2,500 tests per week for customers in the Loudoun, Virginia region.
With the seed funding, Aperiomics will be able to invest in marketing efforts to educate healthcare providers on the value of their technology. Now as a portfolio company of The Launch Place, they will have access to a new network of investors and potential partners, which Dr. Icenhour says is a huge validation point.
According to Doss, this investment is a long time coming. Like many of their other portfolio companies, The Launch Place kept an eye on Aperiomics after their original acquaintance until they felt they had reached the point to really make a difference within their respective market.
“We take our investments very seriously, and though our due-diligence process may have been long, we are excited to add Aperiomics to our portfolio companies,” said Doss. “Their novel technology is unmatched in the market and their products have the potential to make a real impact.”
About The Launch Place:
The Launch Place provides new and early stage business support services and pre-seed and seed investments for technology startups in Virginia and North Carolina. As a venture development organization with the purpose to plan, fund, launch and grow businesses, TLP helps companies to get started, or to expand their operations by providing business consulting services, office space, and by investing in them through its investment funds. www.thelaunchplace.org
The only company of its kind and scope in the world combining advanced DNA testing, the power of big data and decades of infectious disease expertise, Aperiomics is revolutionizing the way that medical professionals around the world identify infections. Supported by the National Science Foundation, Aperiomics identifies every known bacterium, virus, fungus, and parasite through deep shotgun metagenomic sequencing, using its proprietary, world-renowned database containing nearly 40,000 microorganisms. Helping doctors and their patients identify the causes of infections that other tests cannot identify, Aperiomics streamlines the path to a positive clinical outcome. Aperiomics was named Life Science Innovator of the Year in 2016 and International Start Up of the Year in 2018. www.aperiomics.com