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Invitae (US) acquires genomics start-up Diploid (Flanders)

Diploid – a start-up from Leuven (Flanders) that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect rare genetic diseases very quickly – has been acquired by US-based medical genetics company Invitae. The American company has paid EUR 84 million to acquire this promising new kid in Flanders’ medtech scene.  

Genome data

Groundbreaking AI-based software

The start-up from Leuven has developed the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-based software, called Moon, for the diagnosis of rare diseases. It is capable of detecting genetic disorders in just a few minutes using next-generation sequencing data and patient information.  

Rare genetic diseases account for some 15% of admissions to children’s hospitals. Such diagnoses are made by experts but can now be automated with Moon. This leads to faster results. In 2018, Diploid won a prestigious award for this analysis at the annual Bio-IT World congress in Boston, US. 

Expanding to help more people

“Moon is powerful and ease to use. From a pilot study in which the algorithm evaluated data on existing cases, the software was found to achieve 94% accuracy,” says Sean George, Invitae’s co-founder and CEO.  

The acquisition is an important step in Diploid's growth process.  

“With Invitae, we are joining like-minded scientists in creating a world-class genetic interpretation framework at scale,” asserts Peter Schols, CEO of Diploid. “By bringing these technologies together, we can help more patients benefit from in-depth genetic sequencing to move from searching for answers to getting a diagnosis and discussing treatment options.” 

More info

Reported by
Newspaper De Tijd
22 June 2020

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