Thanks for joining us Mark. –
Can you tell me more about StoreGene? What’s the genomics challenge you are seeking to solve?
StoreGene exists because to truly personlise medicine health providers need to integrate the most personal data set we all have, our genome, into our healthcare.
Our genomes are huge. There are >3 billion base pairs of DNA in human cells which make up our genome. We differ from each other due to DNA sequence changes or ‘variants’ which define our physical and biological characteristics – it’s all in there!
This variation helps us understand our risk of common diseases, carrier status for a rare disease and responses to drug treatments or food. Knowing this empowers us to shape the world around us to live a long and healthy life.
But the vast scale of these data sets is a huge challenge for clinicians – and with data sets of this magnitude and with so much potential we can’t rely on the human eye to identify specific variation, we need to move at pace using informatics.
As an ageing population presents an enormous global healthcare challenge, our vision is to accelerate translation of genetic research to clinical practice to add genomic precision to every step of our healthcare journey, so we live healthier for longer.
StoreGene provides infinite clinical insights from one whole genome test via the world’s first Clinical Genomic Operating System. This system combines whole genome sequencing with a state of the art bioinformatics platform and a genomic counselling service to integrate genomic data into clinical pathways. Central to this, Clinical Genomic Analysis Templates (CGATs), plug into the bioinformatics platform to analyse an individual’s whole genome and within 10 minutes produce detailed clinical reports.
Who has StoreGene been designed for?
The StoreGene Clinical Genomic Operating System has been developed for health providers who want to offer whole genome sequencing for their patients or reanalyse whole genome data.
It addresses the cost, speed and complexity of integrating genetics into an individual’s health journey – with the potential to save healthcare providers billions of pounds annually.
Each year, the NHS could reduce their £3.4 billion spent on undiagnosed rare diseases and the US health system could save $30billion spent on adverse drug reactions by using pharmacogenomics.
Currently, it takes over 4 months and costs ~£1200 (£300 each) to run four concurrent genetic tests. Comparatively StoreGene’s test saves over £200 overall and can be run in ten minutes.
The service is now in use for genomic testing in Cardiovascular clinical practice, however the platform is disease agnostic using our Clinical Genomic Analysis Templates (CGATs).
We have an open approach to creating CGATs to rapidly translate the latest genetic research across all non-communicable disease areas and genetic indications. Researchers contributing to CGAT development benefit from reimbursement and gain novel insights into application of their work in the real world. StoreGene presents the opportunity to dramatically reduce the translation time for genetic research to reach the clinic from 17 years to just one month adding further value to the service and genetic research community.
What would you say are your successes on your scale-up journey?
The foundations for StoreGene were built on decades of cutting edge research in cardiovascular genetics carried out by our Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Steve Humphries, with commercial input from UCL Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr Dan Brown. They bootstrapped the company selling laboratory tests to the private sector for over 10 years.
I am proud that since I joined StoreGene in 2020, we’ve designed and delivered a digital strategy to move laboratory testing into the cloud and established partnerships with global leading genomic sequencing laboratories to offer secure, clinical whole genome sequencing.
We were awarded InnovateUK SMART funding in 2021, through which we established relationships with consultants, clinicians, researchers, and bioinformaticians to build and validate the clinical genomic operating system with support from two of the UK’s leading cardiovascular centres, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital and Barts Health NHS Foundation Trust.
All during a global pandemic!
We are on a continuing journey of growth – expanding our team, our customers and capabilities of the platform.
We have private consultants already ordering tests and providing their patients with meaningful results and high quality reports – including for Familial Hypercholesterolemia.
What connections / partnerships are you seeking to make for the next stage of your business growth?
We view the UK as the right place to be as a world-leading location for genomics research and translational application – and we are proud to be part of this ecosystem.
StoreGene is currently seeking investment of £350,000 as we have significant commercial opportunities to deliver, and we are increasing our Clinical Genomic Analysis Templates (CGATs) applications.
So, the connections we are seeking to turbocharge our business growth are in three groups – firstly, our users – innovative clinicians and researchers within Oncology, Neurology, Gastroenterology and Endocrinology. Secondly, investors to join our upcoming round. And importantly, strategists – innovators within healthcare providers and academic institutions to discuss applications within their organisations and services. We’d welcome conversations with the Genomic Medicine Strategic Alliances and partners in the North of England.
And finally, can you tell us about your experience of participating in the P4SY Accelerator Programme?
It’s been excellent! The team has been incredibly supportive; we’ve participated in high-quality events; and we’ve been connected to key partners in the northern medtech ecosystem.
The programme has been a great support in particular providing access to ideas. The knowledge that having additional strategic minds available to brainstorm and bounce ideas off is really valuable. And speed networking and investor sessions have provided great connections.