Deep Genomics, the startup company founded by Professor Brendan Frey and his group in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has just announced $5 million ($3.7 million USD) in seed financing. The company, launched in July 2015, aims to revolutionize genomic medicine by applying advanced deep-learning computational techniques to unravel mysteries of the human genome.
“Our vision is to change the course of genomic medicine,” said Frey, the company’s president and CEO. “We’re inventing a new generation of deep learning technologies that can tell us what will happen within a cell when DNA is altered by natural mutations, therapies or even by deliberate gene editing.”
The funding round was led by True Ventures of the Bay Area with participation from Bloomberg Beta and other global angel investors, according to TechVibes.
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The researchers behind Deep Genomics are the first to combine more than a decade of world-leading expertise in machine learning with genome biology. Recently Yann Lecun, director of artificial intelligence at Facebook and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Deep Genomics, cited the company’s work in applying artificial intelligence to predict the outcomes of complicated interactions in biological systems as one of the growth areas for AI.
“There is going to be a lot of progress in medicine because of this,” he told New Scientist.
Deep Genomics envisions a future where computers are trusted to predict the outcome of experiments and treatments, long before anyone picks up a test tube. To realize that vision, the company plans to grow its team of data scientists and computational biologists.
Deep Genomics will continue to invent new deep learning technologies and work with diagnosticians and biologists to understand the many complex ways that cells interpret DNA, from transcription and splicing to polyadenylation and translation. Building a thorough understanding of these processes has massive implications for genetic testing, pharmaceutical research and development, personalized medicine and improving human longevity.