Founded in 2002 and based in Salt Lake City, an innovative startup called Lineagen is performing unique research that can dramatically increase our ability to diagnose certain diseases earlier than ever before. Its recent successes have placed Lineagen on the radar of a growing group of investors, reflected in its most recent round of funding that brought an additional $12.17 million into the company.
What is it about Lineagen’s genetic studies that is catching the eye of so many investors?
The secret to Lineagen’s success it that their research focuses on studying large pedigrees—entire families over the course of many generations—enabling researchers to pinpoint genetic markers which can indicate particular diseases. Given the fact that we share close genetic sequences with our relatives, Lineagen’s genetic studies are shedding light on which individuals are most at-risk for certain medical conditions. Identifying these markers is extremely important to doctors, since the ability to make an early diagnosis is a crucial factor in determining the effectiveness of treatment.
A great example as to why Lineagen’s research is so compelling can be seen with their Autism initiatives. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that leads to a variety of impairments, especially with regard to social interaction and communicating effectively. It is estimated to affect approximately 1.5% of children across the U.S., and many studies indicate that its occurrence is on the rise. Lineagen is currently working on two major research programs, one with the University of Utah and another with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, that are uncovering genetic markers associated with autism.
This groundbreaking research is greatly advancing our knowledge about autism and has led to the development of FirstStepDx PLUS, which is currently the most cutting-edge genetic testing service available for those with child developmental disorders. Available in kid-friendly cheek swab format, it’s a product which combines several services related to testing, reporting, and counseling that provides families with easy-to-understand objective data about their risk-factors. FirstStepDx PLUS represents a significant advancement in the diagnosing of autism and other child developmental disorders, and it is one of the most prominent breakthroughs of Lineage.
It’s this combination of scientific rigor, practicality, and simplicity that has captured the attention of Lineagen’s funders since its founding. Without compromising on research standards or integrity, it has been able to develop commercial services that are immensely useful for patients and physicians alike. Just as importantly, Lineagen is making a great use of its location in Utah, a state with genetic assets highly conducive towards medical research.
Interest in FirstStepDx PLUS has been surging lately as word has spread through peer-reviewed publications about its achievements. The most recent $15.8 million that was raised in their Series C round of funding will enable the startup to further the successful commercialization of their services, spreading Lineagen’s innovation to an ever-growing number of communities across the country. Given the commercial applicability of their medical research, it’s likely that what we’ve seen so far is only the beginning for Lineagen.