In 2003, Washington University made the first-ever breakthrough of mapping the first human genome. Years later in 2011, the University was able to successfully create Clinical Genomics Workspace (CGW), a kind of software specifically made for clinical genomics. It streamlines and provides accurate analysis and conclusions of medical programs.
Soon Washington University made a technology transfer to Rakesh Nagarajan’s budding venture PierianDx in 2014. PierianDx’s first solution was in collaboration with the University’s Department of Pathology & Immunology and Genetics. The University was the first one to acknowledge and validate next-generation clinical sequencing.
PierianDx aims to democratise clinical next-generation sequencing. They work towards improving diagnosis for chronic disease, including cancer, and creating targeted treatments for the patients. By making precision medicine more accessible they want to improve the overall healthcare output.
The startup received instant success. By 2015, they had received 14.2 million in its Series A round. Some of its investors are Health Catalyst Capital, Inova Health Systems, RTI International and ARUP Laboratories. In 2016, they opened their office in Pune to advance and develop their software. Within four years of their establishment, they had gained 40+ customers. In 2019, they partnered with the industry leader Illumina.
ATW Partners and SJF Ventures raised an additional $27 million in 2019. Their post-money valuation was in the range of $100-500 million in the same year. By the end of 2019, PierianDx had expanded into Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. They now collaborate with 100 plus clinical institutions.
Will the company achieve their dream of democratising next-generation sequencing a reality for every Indian? The company currently faces the challenge of making genomic testing with reduced cost and with a better turnaround time. This is slowing down the pace of adoption in India’s healthcare sector. Affordability is the biggest hurdle any health-tech company faces when it comes to popularizing it to the masses.