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Invitae Buys Developer of Online Family History Tool

June 13, 2017
by David Raths
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Cloud-based CancerGene Connect created at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Invitae Corp., a San Francisco-based genetic information company, has acquired Ommdom Inc., the developer of CancerGene Connect, a platform for collecting and managing genetic family histories.

Invitae said the acquisition, for approximately $6 million of its common stock, expands its suite of genome management offerings designed to help patients and clinicians use genetic information as part of mainstream medical care.

The technology behind CancerGene Connect was first created in the late 1990s at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, which developed an initial version of the tool that enabled clinicians to digitally run risk assessment algorithms that previously required time-intensive research calculations for each patient. Ommdom has an exclusive license from UT Southwestern to further develop and commercialize CancerGene Connect.

CancerGene Connect uses a cloud-based, mobile friendly patient interface to gather family history information prior to a clinician appointment. Once completed, analytics tools using research on hereditary risk analyze a patient's predisposition to disease and provide actionable analysis to inform therapeutic decisions, such as genetic testing or treatment approaches. In addition, the platform provides clinicians with the ability to look beyond the individual to understand trends across all their patients.

"We are extremely proud of the platform we've built with CancerGene Connect and the impact it has on improving care for patients," said Richard Burghardt, chief executive officer of Ommdom, in a prepared statement. "Although most frequently discussed in relation to cancer, family health history also has significant and growing importance in the prevention and management of heart, metabolic, neurological, and other diseases. Joining Invitae will broaden the reach of our technology, bringing its benefits to more clinicians and their patients."

Invitae said its goal is to aggregate most of the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower price than many single-gene and panel tests today. The company provides a diagnostic service comprising approximately 1,500 genes for a variety of genetic disorders associated with oncology, cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, and other rare disease areas, as well as clinical analysis of a 20,000-gene medical exome.

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