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Aug 7, 2013

Gene by Gene Acquires GE-Backed Arpeggi

  • Gene by Gene said today it will acquire Arpeggi, a developer of solutions for genome sequencing, data management, and computational analysis whose backers include General Electric. The price was undisclosed.

    "The acquisition of Arpeggi's technology and its world­-class team of data and technology experts will enable us to accelerate Gene by Gene's plan to make next­-generation DNA sequencing and clinical genomics accessible and affordable to all," Max Blankfeld, a managing partner of Gene by Gene, said in a statement.

    Founded last year, Arpeggi’s offerings include GCAT or­ Genome Comparison and Analytic Testing, a free community-driven platform launched in April for evaluating the performance of next­-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis methods. Arpeggi also offers scalable sequencing tools via local network or cloud. These tools are designed to enable accurate, fast, and cost-­effective analysis of genomes.

    Also this year, Arpeggi was selected by GE and StartUp Health as one of 14 startups, out of 400 applicants, to join their three-year Entrepreneurship Program. The program is designed to grow, commercialize and scale innovative healthcare technologies and will, according to a post on Arpeggi’s blog, “help make personalize medicine a reality to all.”

    Gene to Gene made news June 13, the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Myriad Genetics’ patent claims for breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Gene to Gene’s DNATraits division said it would begin to offer testing for both genes in the United States for $995, compared with the $3,340 charged by Myriad for its BRACAnalysis test. DNATraits has processed testing for the genes for individuals living outside the United States since last year.

    Myriad responded last month by suing Gene to Gene and Ambry, another company announcing its own test for the BRCA genes. Myriad claimed the companies had infringed 10 patents associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 that were not covered by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

    Arpeggi’s entire team and technology platform will be incorporated into Gene by Gene, while the acquired company’s founders will join Gene by Gene's management team, effective immediately. Arpeggi's CEO Nir Leibovich has been named Gene by Gene's CBO, while CTO Jason Wang will retain the same title with the combined company, whose new CSO David Mittelman, Ph.D., had been an Arpeggi co-founder and its chief scientific advisor.

    Blankfeld and Bennett Greenspan continue to serve as managing partners of Gene by Gene, which will also retain chief scientist Doron Behar, M.D., Ph.D., but in the new position of CMO. 


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