At Understand Your Genome event, Microbiome Insights participates in latest discussions on genome sequencing for disease prediction and prevention

Microbiome Insights Inc. was an exhibitor and sponsor at the third annual Boston Understand Your Genome conference, held on Nov. 14, 2017. The all-day event centered on the progress and promise of genomic medicine and the issues regarding sequencing the genomes of healthy individuals for disease prediction and prevention.

The conference topics included sequencing and informatics in clinical care, precision health, and understanding the basics of genetics and genomics. Among the event’s speakers were Dr. Hannah Valantine, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at the National Institutes of Health, who discussed racial disparities in organ transplant outcomes and diversity issues in genomics; and Dr. Calum MacRae, Chief of Cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who spoke about the need for a robust global phenotype effort to replace the outdated diagnostic guidelines used today.

All conference participants were also offered the opportunity to have their genome sequenced and analyzed for genes and variants associated with adult-onset conditions, carrier status, and drug response.

At #ASHG17, Microbiome Insights offers a chance to win 50 complimentary samples for amplicon sequencing

OCTOBER 21, 2017 – The Microbiome Insights team travelled to Orlando on October 17th to 21st, 2017, to attend the American Society of Human Genetics 2017 meeting (ASHG 2017) as exhibitors. Visitors to the company booth could enter their card into a draw for complimentary amplicon sequencing of 50 samples, as they discussed with our team the benefits of combining genetics/genomics with microbiome analysis.

Dr. Athena Starlard-Davenport of the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center was the winner of the draw for free amplicon sequencing of 50 samples.

Microbiome Insights recognized in BCIC-New Ventures Competition: Growth shows demand for capitalizing on potential of microbiome

October 4, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – As researchers and companies around the world increasingly recognize the importance of the microbiome, they face a critical gap in expertise, according to one Vancouver biotechnology startup.

Microbiome Insights, Inc., which conducts testing and bioinformatics on microbial communities for applications ranging from human health and disease to beauty products and agriculture, aims to help their clients address this expertise gap and innovate more quickly.

Last week, Microbiome Insights’ growth and momentum was recognized with a second place win in the 2017 British Columbia Innovation Council-New Ventures Competition, out of a field of 166 companies. The company also took home the Centre for Drug Research and Development Life Sciences award.

“The microbiome is one of the fastest growing areas in life sciences,” says Malcolm Kendall, Microbiome Insights’ CEO. “Microbiome science is changing the direction of numerous large industries like healthcare, food, cosmetics and agriculture, and can add significant value to products. Our success in this competition highlights the bright future for microbiome testing and expertise.”

A panel of judges made up of industry experts, venture capitalists, and successful entrepreneurs determined that the company was primed to succeed as a business venture in the current market environment. The company is on a run rate to grow its revenue over 400 percent this year.

“A major theme in research today is a growing appreciation of the importance of microbial communities, or microbiomes, and the imperative to better understand these communities,” says University of British Columbia professor Dr. Bill Mohn, who co-founded the company with his colleague, Dr. Brett Finlay. “These highly complex communities are critical for human health, environmental quality and industrial processes.  Consequently, there is a real need for expertise in designing and conducting microbiome studies.”

Kendall adds, “Our testing services help researchers and companies innovate and accelerate the development of products so they can remain competitive as microbiome science advances and impacts their industry.”

Reports indicate advances in microbiome science offer tremendous potential for medical, environmental and economic benefits. Analysis of the human microbiome may yield new approaches to diagnose and treat many chronic diseases, while understanding and managing environmental microbiomes may improve productivity and sustainability of agriculture and diverse resource industries, such as forestry, mining and aquaculture.

About the BCIC-New Ventures Competition

New Ventures BC (NVBC) is a not-for-profit that promotes entrepreneurship through innovation. NVBC runs the annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition, offering education, coaching, and $300,000+ in prizes to B.C. startups. The NVBC Venture Acceleration programs also provide training and mentorship for early-stage tech companies. Over the past 17 years NVBC competition winners have gone on to create 2,700 jobs and raise $300 million in financing.

Learn more: newventuresbc.com

See this press release online here.

See the Microbiome Insights video here.

Microbiome Insights’ co-founders participate in Personalized Medicine Initiative webinar

MARCH 29, 2017 – Two of Microbiome Insights’ co-founders, CEO Malcolm Kendall and Dr. Bill Mohn, were key speakers this week in a webinar organized by British Columbia’s Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI). The webinar, open to participants across North America, focused on how microbiome research will contribute to personalized medicine as our knowledge advances.

“Microbiome Insights is proud to be part of a dynamic community working toward a more personalized approach to medical care, as the microbiome shows great promise for helping this field move forward,” says Kendall. The company, founded under the umbrella of the Personalized Medicine Initiative, enables both academic and industrial clients to seamlessly complete their microbiome research.

The PMI is a broad organization of personalized medicine stakeholders and resources in British Columbia; its mission is to introduce technologies enabling personalized (molecularly-based) medicine to the front lines of healthcare, facilitating a more efficient medical system. The PMI also serves as an educational and information resource for residents and medical practitioners. The organization is led by a Board of Directors that includes Pieter Cullis (Chair), David Huntsman, Bruce McManus, Martin Dawes and James Russell, with input from an Advisory Committee that represents a cross-section of interests relating to healthcare, science, technology, ethics, and health policy.

 

Microbiome Insights Tops BC’s 2017 Life Science Emerging Rocket List

MARCH 3, 2017 – After becoming one of nine companies included on the 2017 Life Science Emerging Rocket List in British Columbia, Microbiome Insights has been honoured with the program’s Ready to Rocket award in the Life Science division.

The award is part of the Ready to Rocket business recognition program in British Columbia’s tech sector, which showcases revenue growth leaders in the province.

Microbiome Insights Included on CB Insights’ List of 20+ Startups Attacking the Human Microbiome

DECEMBER, 2016 – Microbiome Insights, Inc. was recently included on a list of microbiome-focused startup companies assembled by the venture capital database CB Insights. The platform identified the most well-funded private companies targeting the microbiome and mapped them according to the category in which they operate. Microbiome Insights appeared in the “genomics” category as a company focused on microbiome analysis across a range of applications.

Microbiome Insights Establishes Scientific Advisory Board

September 23, 2015 – Microbiome Insights, Inc. is pleased to announce today the formation of its inaugural Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The board is comprised of leaders in the field whose work has led to significant breakthroughs in both basic and clinical understandings of the microbiome.

The inaugural members are:

  • Ken Croitoru, MD, gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. His research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms underlying intestinal inflammation, particularly as it relates to inflammatory bowel disease. He is the project leader of the GEM Project, a study that explores the genetic, environmental, and microbial factors that lead to Crohn’s disease.
  • Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, Associate Professor of computation biology and bioinformatics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research leverages computational methods, including machine learning, to investigate microbial community function and human health. He and his lab have worked extensively on the NIH Human Microbiome Project.
  • Janet Jansson, PhD, Division Director of Biological Sciences at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. She has over 30 years’ experience in microbial ecology with specific expertise in the use of molecular approaches to study complex microbial communities in the environment and human gut.
  • Samuel Miller, MD, Professor of medicine, microbiology, immunology, and genome sciences at the University of Washington. His research focuses on how bacteria cause disease and interact with host cells. He is also Director of the NIAID Northwest Research Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The board, whose mission is to provide scientific, strategic, and technical guidance for Microbiome Insights’ service business and other projects, is co-chaired by founders Brett Finlay, PhD, and Bill Mohn, PhD.

“We are thrilled to have assembled this world class team to guide us,” said Malcolm Kendall, CEO of Microbiome Insights. “This Scientific Advisory Board draws upon the best and brightest in microbial ecology, bioinformatics and medicine, and their collective breadth and depth of experience will be crucial to all aspects of our business.”

Microbiome Insights, Inc. is a Vancouver-based company that provides state-of-the-art testing and analysis of the microbiome—the complex communities of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that inhabit humans, animals, plants, and the environment. It provides end-to-end service for researchers in academia and industry who wish to incorporate microbiome research in their studies across a range of human, animal, agricultural, and environmental applications.

Life sciences industry leaders form Microbiome Insights’ inaugural board of directors

MAY 30, 2015 — Microbiome Insights, Inc. is pleased to announce the members of its inaugural Board of Directors (BOD). The members bring with them a wealth of knowledge from the global life sciences industry. Each one has achieved success in academic and/or industry roles and has contributed to groundbreaking advancements in their respective disciplines.

The members are:

Pieter Cullis, PhD, Director at the Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia.

Dr. Pieter Cullis brings decades of experience in research and business. He is, along with his colleagues in academia, responsible for many fundamental advances in the field of lipid nanoparticle systems for intravenous delivery of small molecule and macromolecular drugs. This work has led to three products which have been approved by regulatory agencies in the US and Europe, and a further five that have finished Phase 1 trials. Outside of his academic achievements, Dr. Cullis co-founded several biotech companies and has received many distinguished awards, including election to the Royal Society of Canada in 2004.

Brad Popovich, PhD, former Chief Scientific Officer at Genome BC

Dr. Brad Popovich has long been involved with Genome BC, serving on its Board of Directors from 2006-2011 and acting as the Chair for the Scientific Committee from 2008-2010. Alongside his current roles with Genome BC he serves as Chairman for the Genetic Information Management Systems and Director of the Centre for Drug Research and Development Ventures and Centre for Drug Development. His genetics expertise is in genetic counselling; he graduated with Masters degrees in genetic counselling and biochemical genetics, and was awarded a PhD in molecular genetics from McGill University. He also received postdoctoral training and a clinical fellowship in the lab of Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies. Throughout his career, Dr. Popvich has held many titles as Director, Vice-President, and CEO of numerous companies and academic institutions—including founder and director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Oregon Health Sciences University and founding member of the Oregon DNA Forensic Experts Panel.

Mike Fannon, Founder and CEO of BioIT Solutions.

Mike Fannon currently advises new biotechnology firms in the areas of information technology and customer relationship management, business strategy, and laboratory automation. He is CEO of BioIT solutions, a leading company specializing in advanced computational, workflow, and data-management systems for clinical diagnostics, drug development, and biotechnology research. He was the chief architect of BioIT’s innovative 1Platform4 software and was the former Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Human Genome Sciences, where he and his team developed computerized solutions to manage Human Genome Sciences’ R&D functions, high-volume labs, product development, and clinical trials. Mr. Fannon holds an MBA in Operations Analysis from American University and a Bachelors degree in Physics from Rollins College.

Microbiome Insights Officially Incorporates

February 12, 2015 – Microbiome Insights, Inc. announced its official incorporation today as a company providing end-to-end services in microbiome analysis. These services, which include experimental design, sample testing, and bioinformatic analysis, are aimed at researchers in both academia and industry seeking to conduct microbiome studies.

Based out of Vancouver, Canada, Microbiome Insights is a spinout from both the Life Science Institute and the Personalized Medicine Initiative at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Drawing on the decades of experience of its scientific co-founders, professors Dr. B. Brett Finlay and Dr. Bill Mohn, Microbiome Insights fills the expertise gap that currently exists between expanding interest in the field and successful studies and products.

The study of microbiomes—complex ecosystems of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and fungi—is one of the fastest growing areas in life sciences research. The functions and interactions of these communities have a profound impact on human, animal, and environmental health. While more and more groups are recognizing the value of adding microbiome analyses to their work, many lack the technical know-how to design and carry out such studies and interpret the results.

“Our goal is to provide researchers with a resource for expert microbiome analysis,” says Malcolm Kendall, co-founder and CEO. “Along with my fellow founders, Brett Finlay and Bill Mohn, I feel the company is uniquely positioned to offer highly specialized services to a broad market, helping drive innovation.”

Microbiome Insights’ services centre on extraction, quality control, analytics and bioinformatics—providing clients with publication-quality data and state-of-the-art analysis. The company’s flexible end-to-end service model also includes pre-study consultation, data consultation, and advanced reporting.

Microbiome Insights will seek partnerships with other organizations to further understandings of microbial communities and to co-develop new products and services.