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Welcoming Deep Genomics

By Adam D'Augelli, November 18, 2015

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A few months ago, Jon talked about our growing interest in investing in “core sciences”—including synthetic biology, neuroscience and healthcare.

Many of these recent investments are stealthy, but I am pleased today to announce our investment in Deep Genomics, a company that is combining world-leading expertise in machine learning and genome biology to transform precision medicine.

Deep Genomics’ machine learning technology can tell what will happen within a cell when DNA is altered by genetic variation, whether natural or therapeutic. This provides causal interpretation for genetic variations, offering a new kind of information beyond industry standard methods. Their computational system provides revolutionary, high-value information in the clinic or in the R&D laboratory, and can be used to prioritize, classify, interpret and find new relationships between variants, based on how they change cell processes. As a result, Deep Genomics’ technology can connect unknown variants to known variants, something that was not previously possible. Unlike industry standard systems, the Deep Genomics engine provides biological explanations for its predictions, empowering diagnosticians, clinicians and researchers to obtain crucial information and expand their understanding to a new level.

UnknownPhoto by Roberta Baker

Co-Founders Brendan Frey, Hannes Bretschneider, Andrew Delong and Hui Yuan Xiong are the leading experts in the world at using machine intelligence applied to genomic data. Based on a personal experience over 12 years ago, Brendan focused his research group at University of Toronto on applying the disciplines of deep learning to genomics. Collectively, his team has published 47 papers in the space since then.

Nine months ago, Brendan and his team spun this research out into Deep Genomics to further push the development of his team’s approach. When we met them, we were instantly impressed by Brendan, his drive and the huge potential of the market. The founding team of Deep Genomics is a great example of the type of cross-discipline team that we’re interested in backing at the intersection of biology and software, where a deep understanding of both core concepts creates the opportunity for products that will directly affect the life of patients and consumers.

To Brendan, and the rest of the Deep Genomics team: Welcome to True!