This year, 2017, will go down in Microbiome Insights history as the year the company hit its stride and established itself as a leader in the microbiome testing field. The challenging work our team has been doing since we were founded in 2015 clearly paid off—as evidenced by our expanding client list, our strong financial position, and our team’s awards and recognitions.
In the past twelve months we have had to more than double the size of our Vancouver-based team, hiring some of the best technicians, scientists, and bioinformaticians to meet the needs of our clients.
Here are some highlights of our company’s 2017, by the numbers:
Place out of 150+ companies in the 17th annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition, the largest and longest-running competition for tech companies in BC. The judges, who award $300,000 in cash and prizes to early-stage start-up companies, honoured Microbiome Insights with second place overall and with the Center for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) Life Sciences prize.
Number of conferences Microbiome Insights attended as exhibitors or sponsors. Our team enjoyed meeting new and existing clients at important academic and industry conferences in all corners of North America—from ASM Microbe 2017 in New Orleans to the Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum in San Diego. We also trailblazed as one of the first microbiome-centered companies to attend two genomics events: ASHG 2017 in Orlando and the 3rd annual Understand your Genome conference in Boston.
British Columbia (BC) life sciences companies (including Microbiome Insights) on the ‘Ready to Rocket’ 2017 Life Science Emerging Rocket List—a business recognition program that profiles technology companies in BC with the greatest potential for revenue growth. These “Emerging Rocket” companies are recognized as having a clear business model and go-to-market strategy that will prove attractive to investors.
Number of microbiome studies our team supported this year—across a broad range of human, animal, agricultural, and environmental applications. We are very proud that many of these were repeat clients.
Number of dollars invested in our company by Genome BC, following successful equity financing. In combination with funds from the company’s recent round of equity funding, this will help build out our new CLIA-certified lab facility, grow our team and capabilities, and develop and launch new services and tests in 2018.
Here are some of the technical insights from our team this year:
- The staying power of amplicon-based analyses: For studies whose primary objective is to get a comprehensive picture of the bacteria in an environment, or to build models of disease classification (for many diseases) data derived from 16S genes is as good as it gets
- The power of multi-omics integration: Although it still poses technical challenges, integration of multiomics datasets can reveal things far beyond what each technology can show separately
And finally, here are our team’s picks for the hot areas to watch in microbiome science in the coming year:
- The contribution of microbes to “inflammaging”—the progressive increase in pro-inflammatory status that occurs with age
- Progress toward microbiome therapies that modulate the brain through the gut-brain axis
- Larger and longer studies on the skin microbiome, looking at lifestyle factors and making more definitive associations between skin microbes (composition and function) and healthy skin
- Tracking the presence of viruses in the gut microbiome and gaining insights about health implications
A very happy 2018, from our team to you!