Molecular, Genomic Diagnostic Service Lab Raising Funds for Personalized Medicine

June 13, 2013
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molecular diagnostics

Using DNA sequencing to help doctors and pharmaceutical companies personalize treatments for disease has netted a South Carolina startup a small seed round of capital.

molecular diagnostics

Using DNA sequencing to help doctors and pharmaceutical companies personalize treatments for disease has netted a South Carolina startup a small seed round of capital.

According to a recent SEC filing, Selah Genomics has raised at least $300,000 and could raise another $600,000 more. CEO Michael Bolick could not be reached by email to comment.

Formed in 2012, Selah provides molecular and genomic diagnostic services to healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies, initially in the fields of oncology and infectious diseases. It’s piloting a service called Precision Path to detect the underlying DNA alterations in patients’ tumors at Greenville Health System’s Institute of Translational Oncology Research.

As told by Greenville Business Magazine, the company’s history is a bit confusing, if not curious. It starts several years back with the formation of Selah Technologies, which Bolick started to commercialize nanotechnology from Clemson that used carbon-based quantum dots to illuminate cancer cells during surgery. That company was acquired by UK-based personalized medicine diagnostics firm Lab 21 Ltd. in 2009 and became the foundation for Lab21’s South Carolina-based subsidiary, Lab21 Inc.

But late last year, the management of Lab21 Inc.formed a new entity, Selah Genomics, and bought out the former company’s lab operations. Bolick, the former president of Lab21 Inc., became CEO.

Earlier this year, the company acquired DNA-sequencing company EnGenCore LLC and opened a new CLIA lab at the Innovista research campus at the University of South Carolina’s Clinical Genomics Center. It also has a main lab in downtown Greenville and another at the Greenville Health’s ITOR. Bolick has said that the company’s growth has been supported by investments from Boston’s Nexus Medical Partners and SCRA Technology Ventures’ Stage 2 affiliate.

Translating genomic data into meaningful information is a hot space in medicine right now — just look at new diagnostics ventures recently spun out by Mayo Clinic/Cancer Genetics and Coriell Institute for Medical Research/IBM as an example. Numerous other companies are also working in this space. For more detail on Selah, watch Bolick’s TEDxGreenville talk below.

[Photo from Flickr user dancentury]