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The Genome Company

Check out some of our recent announcements below. For more information, please email us at media@veritasgenetics.com.

Genomenon Partners with Veritas Genetics to Create Next Generation Genomic Literature Prioritization Engine Powered By Machine Learning and AI

Companies Collaborate to Aggressively Reduce the Time and Cost of Variant Interpretation to Further Scale Global Adoption of Whole Genome Sequencing.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - April 3, 2018 - Genomenon, the leader in genomic data search capabilities and developer of Mastermind is partnering with Veritas, The Genome Company and first company to break the $1k genome barrier, to address the single most critical hurdle to realize the promise of genomic medicine.

 

While sequencing technology has become less and less expensive and the $1k genome is now a reality, technical advances have also catalyzed an explosion of genomic data. The single most critical hurdle to scale adoption of whole genome sequencing globally, is not the cost of sequencing any more; it is being able to interpret results efficiently at scale driving cost for consumers further down.

 

Two specific issues are holding back the whole genomic industry: Identification and prioritization of relevant literature to ensure proper variant classification efficiently and at scale; and an efficient way to alert and update variant classifications as new knowledge arises. Genomenon and Veritas are partnering to tackle both of these issues.

 

As part of this partnership, the two companies:

 
  1. Will collaborate to develop the next generation literature prioritization engine through proprietary genomic language processing (GLP), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) tools following the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) and Association for Medical Pathology (AMP) variant classification frameworks.
  2. Veritas will integrate Genomenon’s Mastermind software to its current workflow and interpretation tools.
  3. The clinical variant science team at Veritas will advise Genomenon’s product development team with ongoing requirements and product refinements.

“Our goal is to empower millions of consumers to access their own genomic information and use it throughout their lives. This will not happen without applying the most advanced machine learning and AI tools to large genomic datasets. We are delighted to partner with Genomenon, to make this happen.” expressed Mirza Cifric, Founder, CEO Veritas Genetics.

 

Mike Klein, CEO of Genomenon expressed: “Variant classification sits at the center of the genomic revolution. Creating tools and standards requires the best and most experienced minds in the field. We’re excited to be working with the Veritas team at the forefront of personal genomics. We look forward to radically moving the field forward through our collective expertise and variant interpretation tools.”

 

Dr. Birgit Funke, PhD, FACMG, and VP of Clinical Affairs for Veritas Genetics will join Mark Kiel, MD, PhD, CSO and Founder of Genomenon, Inc. to demonstrate how they are collaborating to accelerate variant interpretation by using the ACMG framework within the Mastermind Genomic Search Engine at the Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) on April 13. For more information, visit acmgmeeting.net

 

About Genomenon

 

Genomenon connects patient genomic data with evidence from the scientific literature to diagnose and deliver better patient outcomes. Our web-based Mastermind Genomic Search Engine has indexed the scientific evidence from millions of medical articles, cataloguing the genetic relationships between DNA and human diseases, including cancer. For more information, visit www.genomenon.com.

 

About Veritas Genetics

 

Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors. Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company has been recognized twice by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016 and 2017, and by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in the World in 2018. For more information, follow @VeritasGenetics on Facebook and Twitter or visit veritasgenetics.com.

 

Press Contact                                              

Jessica Francis 440.840.4987 or email jessicafrancisPR@gmail.com

Veritas Genetics Launches Collaboration with Mayo Clinic to Integrate Whole Genome Sequencing into Clinical Care

Goal is to empower physicians and patients through making whole genome sequencing broadly available.

Boston, MA, January 8, 2018 —  Veritas Genetics, The Genome Company, and Mayo Clinic are entering into an agreement to make whole genome sequencing broadly available to healthy individuals.

As part of this collaboration:
 
  1. The team at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine will provide medical and clinical expertise to the Veritas team.
  2. Veritas will integrate Mayo Clinic’s know-how into its flagship product myGenome.
  3. Patients who qualify for a Mayo Clinic research study of healthy adults will be offered Veritas myGenome screening test for whole genome sequencing.
  4. Mayo Clinic will become a shareholder of Veritas.
“The Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic is the gold standard in personalized medicine and we are proud and honored to collaborate with such a professional and dedicated team. This is a great step to further realize the promise of the human genome,” expressed Mirza Cifric, Founder, CEO Veritas Genetics.

Co-founder and advisor to Veritas Genetics genomics pioneer George Church said: “There are few organizations in the world that have the expertise and reputation to make whole genome sequencing a reality in clinical care as these two. I am very excited about this collaboration and I am looking forward to the impact it will have on the health of many thousands of patients and families.”

The collaboration will be led by Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., medical director of Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine, which will be funding the study. Any revenue that Mayo Clinic will receive as a result of this collaboration will be used to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education and research.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors. Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company has been recognized twice by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016 and 2017. For more information, follow @VeritasGenetics on Facebook and Twitter.
Inova Partners with Veritas Genetics to Offer Whole Genome Sequencing and Interpretation

Falls Church, VA, September 28, 2017 —  Inova announced today it has partnered with Veritas Genetics to provide whole genome sequencing and interpretation services. MyMap includes myGenome by Veritas and MediMap® pharmacogenomic testing by Inova; it also integrates Inova’s genetic counseling, research and clinical resources. MyMap will be available later this year.

Inova, a global leader in personalized health, has extensive experience with genetic testing, both diagnostic and predictive, and has used results to improve outcomes for patients. Inova’s partnership with Veritas, the Boston-based genomics innovator, will accelerate Inova’s ability to predict, prevent, and treat disease. Together, the two organizations are creating one of the world’s first models for integrating whole genome data into clinical care.

MyMap will include the following:

myGenome by Veritas - Employs next generation sequencing to screen a patient’s whole genome for over 1,200 clinically relevant conditions, assesses carrier status for over 100 inherited conditions, identifies over 120 traits and provides genetic ancestral data by region.

Inova’s MediMap® Plus - Analyzes 31 genes that influence response to 145 prescription medications across 14 medication categories.

Inova Genetic Counseling - Genetic counselors review test results in a one-on-one clinic setting, translating and interpreting the data into meaningful recommendations specific to the patient’s DNA.

Inova’s Network of Physicians - Patients will have access to Inova’s network of specialists and subspecialists to develop a care plan to maintain optimal health.

“The information gleaned from a patient’s MyMap report can create a lifetime of useful information that will help Inova patients, their family members, and their physicians make more informed decisions about disease prevention and treatment, lifestyle, and diet,” said Todd Stottlemyer, CEO, Inova Center for Personalized Health. “Plus, as advances in research and medicine are made, they will receive valuable updates relevant to their genetic blueprint. It’s a long-term investment in their quality of life.”

Veritas is known for relentlessly pushing the boundaries of science and technology to make whole genome sequencing and interpretation more accessible to consumers and their physicians, notably in a manner that will enable collaborators like Inova to deliver valuable insights to their patients. With a team of more than 100 bioinformaticians, curators, developers and genetic counselors, Veritas is creating and scaling the first platform capable of interpreting millions of genomes to dramatically advance research and medical discovery.

“Together, Inova and Veritas are combining the strengths of our two highly experienced teams to integrate genomics into personalized medicine, effectively and responsibly,” said Mirza Cifric, co-founder and CEO of Veritas. "This is the way whole genome sequencing and interpretation will become a routine and essential part of patient care."

About Inova
Inova is a global leader in personalized health, which leverages precision medicine to predict, prevent and treat disease, enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. At Inova, we serve more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area and beyond. We are shaping the future of health through our integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes.  Our commitment to health and wellness is further reflected in our sustainable practices. Inova is home to world-class researchers, expert medical specialists and renowned scientists, who are driving innovation to improve patient care, prevent disease and promote wellness.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors. Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company has been recognized twice by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016 and 2017. For more information, follow @VeritasGenetics on Facebook and Twitter.

 
Veritas Genetics Acquires Curoverse to Deploy Large-Scale Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Genomics

BOSTON, August 3, 2017 – Veritas Genetics, the genome company, announces the acquisition of Boston-based Curoverse, the preeminent computing and bioinformatics company behind the Personal Genome Project (PGP) at Harvard Medical School, and creator of the open-source platform Arvados. Curoverse software is used by industry leaders such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to manage, process and share petabytes of genomic and biomedical data as well as facilitate AI and machine learning.

The acquisition will expand Veritas’ existing relationship with Curoverse and enable the company to increase the production capacity and data management infrastructure of Arvados as well as effectively deploy AI and machine learning on the platform, which is slated to exceed 10 petabytes of genomic data this year.

There are key challenges to truly uncover genetic insights that could lead to disease prevention and individualized treatment. Historically, genomic data has been generated and kept within walled gardens, and it is notoriously non-standardized in the ways it is produced and aggregated. In order to deploy AI and machine learning capabilities to mine such data, the industry needs a standardized method to enable instant, secure access across geographies and organizational boundaries.

“At Veritas, we are building a platform to sequence, and more importantly, interpret hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions, of human genomes per year. This will only be possible by deploying AI and machine learning at scale, which requires data that is produced, stored and managed in a standardized way,” explains Mirza Cifric, co-founder and CEO of Veritas. “Curoverse excels at this capability. Working closely together will not only benefit Veritas, but the industry as a whole.”

In addition to creating Arvados, the Curoverse team is known for driving foundational contributions to CWL (common workflow language), which has become the standard adopted by many leading institutions for processing and integrating genomic data. The Curoverse data federation model allows different repositories of genomic information to remain in the domain of those that create them while at the same time making them useful for everyone in the community through CWL.

“With this acquisition, Curoverse and Veritas will expand the capabilities of the Arvados platform to benefit our existing customers as well as those in the open-source genomics community,” said Ward Vandewege, co-founder and CEO of Curoverse. “Together, we will continue to accelerate wide-scale access to the world's genomic and biomedical data.”

As a co-founder and an advisor to both Veritas and Curoverse, genetics pioneer Dr. George Church, said, “There are very few companies in the world that have the expertise and experience of more than a decade in aggregating genomic data and enabling machine learning. I am pleased to see these two teams work even closer together. They not only share a common technological goal but also a commitment to making this invaluable information actionable and accessible.”

The Curoverse acquisition was made for an undisclosed amount, and the company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Veritas Genetics.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors. Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company has been recognized twice by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016 and 2017. For more information, follow @VeritasGenetics on Facebook and Twitter.

About Curoverse, Inc.
Curoverse is building an open-source platform embraced by the scientific, clinical and citizen science communities that supports real-time queries of globally distributed biomedical data, efficiently runs machine learning algorithms, and is secure, fault tolerant and scalable. By addressing the unique data and compute infrastructure software challenges in the biomedical field, the company empowers clinicians and scientists to focus on what they do best: making breakthrough discoveries and delivering real-world care. Curoverse is backed by leading venture investors and based in Boston, Massachusetts. More information about the company is available at curoverse.com.

Veritas Genetics Is Named to MIT Technology Review’s Annual 50 Smartest Companies List

BOSTON, June 27, 2017 ​– For the second consecutive year, Veritas Genetics has been named to MIT Technology Review’s 2017 list of 50 Smartest Companies. As the only company to provide whole genome sequencing and interpretation to consumers and their physicians for the milestone price point of $1,000, Veritas continues to lead the genomics industry by relentlessly driving accessibility through advanced science and technology as well as increasing its global footprint.

Over the past year, Veritas has focused on delivering its flagship consumer whole genome service, myGenome, to early adopters, streamlining operations and expanding its reach across Asia, Europe and North America. The company raised $30M in Series B funding last fall and added respected industry experts to its team of more than 100 bioinformaticians, curators and scientific experts, including Birgit Funke, PhD, FACMG, as vice president of clinical affairs.

“We are honored once again to have made such an elite list that includes some of the most recognized and innovative companies in the world,” said Mirza Cifric, co-founder and CEO of Veritas. “We are leading a major shift in health that empowers individuals through access to their genomic baseline. This kind of shift can only be equated to transformational advancements in history, such as the personal computer revolution. We are now entering the personal genomic era.”

Nanette Byrnes, senior editor for business, states, “The companies on the list combine a high level of technology innovation with a business model that will help them make the most of it. They are creating new opportunities and pouncing on them. These are the ones that competitors must follow.”

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors. Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company has been recognized twice by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016 and 2017. For more information, follow us at @VeritasGenetics on Facebook and Twitter.

About MIT Technology Review
Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a digitally oriented independent media company whose analysis, features, reviews, interviews, and live events explain the commercial, social, and political impact of new technologies. MIT Technology Review readers are curious technology enthusiasts—a global audience of business and thought leaders, innovators and early adopters, entrepreneurs and investors. Every day, we provide an authoritative filter for the flood of information about technology. We are the first to report on a broad range of new technologies, informing our audiences about how important breakthroughs will impact their careers and their lives.

Veritas Genetics Welcomes Dr. Robert C. Green and Dr. Natasha Y. Frank to its Medical & Scientific Advisory Board

BOSTON, June 15, 2017 – Veritas Genetics announces Robert C. Green, MD, MPH and Natasha Y. Frank, MD, FACMG, are now members of its distinguished Medical & Scientific Advisory Board.The two respected medical geneticists, known for their extensive experience in genomics, will join an existing team of leading experts who advise Veritas, the leader in accessible whole genome sequencing and interpretation. Both Dr. Green and Dr. Frank are board-certified, medical geneticists and physician scientists who serve as professors of medicine in the Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

"As whole genome sequencing begins to increasingly play an integral role in adult and pediatric care, it is essential for Veritas to access guidance from leading medical professionals," said Mirza Cifric, co-founder and CEO of Veritas. "Drs. Green and Frank are not only at the forefront of the science of genomics, they also have a clear sense of how to translate this complex information for patients and make it clinically useful for physicians. As Veritas leads the major shift towards integrating people's whole genome data into their overall healthcare and lifestyle, we need the counsel of our Medical & Scientific Advisory Board to ensure we do so responsibly, efficiently and with the highest quality and standards."

Dr. Green has extensive experience researching the medical, behavioral and economic outcomes associated with the implementation of genomic medicine. He directs the Genomes2People Research Program and leads the first randomized trials to explore the implementation of medical sequencing in adults and newborns through the MedSeq and BabySeq Projects, both of which are designed to examine how best to integrate sequencing into clinical medicine, safely and effectively.

"I believe whole genome sequencing will eventually be a natural and necessary part of every individual's healthcare experience, beginning at birth," explained Dr. Green. "I am excited to be advising a new company in this space."

Dr. Frank has garnered broad expertise in the fields of cancer biology, genetics and stem cell biology. She leads research programs funded by the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration and Department of Defense that investigate the biology of stem cells residing in human tissues and their relationship to genetic disease and cancer.

"We are very fortunate to practice medicine at a time when we can read and understand the human genome," said Dr. Frank. "As a geneticist, I am thrilled about the unprecedented opportunities brought on by the rapid advances in whole genome sequencing technology as well as the opportunity to solve the most challenging clinical cases and contribute to future therapeutic discoveries."

Doctors Green and Frank will join the following existing Veritas Medical & Scientific Advisory Board members:

  • George Church, PhD - Co-founder, SAB Chairman, Veritas. Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and MIT. Founding core member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard.
  • Peter Blume-Jensen, MD, PhD - Scientific leader in personalized oncology, targeted oncology therapeutics, and biomarker research. Currently CSO, Xtuit. Former executive, Metamark Genetics, Daiichi Sankyo, Merck and Serono.
  • George Siber, MD, PhD - Former EVP and CSO, Wyeth. Faculty at Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber. Currently adjunct professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical School.
  • Scott Patterson, PhD - Previously Amgen Executive Director, Medical Sciences, and VP, Proteomics, Celera Genomics. Currently VP, Biomarker Sciences, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Scott Parazynski, MD - Former NASA astronaut and physiologist with expertise in human adaptation to extreme environments. Professor of Practice, Arizona State University. Product developer, Stanford MD.
  • Shamil Sunyaev, PhD - Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Chair in Computational Genomics. Research Geneticist, Brigham and Women's Hospital. Associate member, Broad Institute.
  • Hans Lehrach, PhD - Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics. CEO/CSO Dahlem Centre for Genome Research & Medical System Biology. Founder, Alacris Theranostics Gmbh.


About Veritas Genetics
Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors.

Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016. For more information, follow us at @VeritasGenetics on Facebook and Twitter.

Veritas Genetics Introduces the First Whole Genome Newborn Screening Test in China

BOSTON and HANGZHOU, China, June 1, 2017​ – Veritas Genetics is launching the first whole genome newborn screening test in China, empowering parents and physicians to make more informed decisions regarding childhood onset diseases and medications. Veritas created myBabyGenome based on published insights and selected gene lists from the BabySeq Project, a multi-year NIH-funded study currently exploring the integration of sequencing in healthy newborns. myBabyGenome sequences the entire genome and reports on genetic variation for nearly 950 early onset conditions, 200 potential drug interactions and more than 100 traits. It is an extension of Veritas’ myGenome, the first whole genome service offered to adult consumers for under $1,000 in the United States.

For the past 30 years, biochemical newborn screening (NBS) of at least 30 conditions has become mandatory in most American states and has prevented thousands of illnesses and premature deaths each year. However, availability of newborn screening internationally is neither standardized nor pervasive. The use of Next Generation Sequencing and interpretation provided by companies like Veritas gives physicians and families unprecedented access to genomic information about childhood onset diseases as well as responses to certain medications used in a pediatric setting.

“There has been vigorous discussion in the genomics community regarding the sequencing of newborns and many professionals agree that it is only a matter of time before we screen every child,” said Jonathan Zhao, Veritas co-founder and General Manager of Veritas China. “The question is, how do we introduce this effort responsibly and ethically? Veritas is taking the first step towards establishing a clinically useful product for newborn sequencing.”

myBabyGenome is not intended to be used as a diagnostic test for persons with suspected genetic conditions. It is designed to make whole genome screening for newborns simple and noninvasive. The test requires physician authorization as well as a buccal swab, and the sequencing is conducted and interpreted in Veritas’ CAP and CLIA certified labs. Once a child’s DNA has been interpreted, physicians and parents in China will receive access to their genome report through an online, user-friendly dashboard. If results reveal variations that are associated with clinically relevant conditions, the findings will be delivered by a Veritas genetic counselor in collaboration with the family’s pediatrician.

The 954 genes screened reflect a curated list* including:

  • Childhood-onset disease genes (onset before the age of 18), at least strong evidence to cause highly penetrant childhood-onset disorders
  • Genes with moderate evidence and/or moderate penetrance associated with conditions for which action during childhood may prevent a devastating outcome later in life
  • Genes associated with diseases that typically present in adulthood but for which noninvasive intervention during childhood may significantly improve the clinical outcome
  • Genes associated with medication compatibility

Excluded are:

  • Genes with insufficient evidence to cause disease
  • Genes with low/moderate penetrance (low predictive value)
  • Adult onset diseases for which there is no evidence that non-invasive intervention during childhood may improve results


Parents in China can access myBabyGenome through a physician at participating hospitals across the country. For more information, please call Veritas China office 400-066-9501.

*(Ceyhan-Birsoy, Genetics in Medicine, 2017)

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas is The Genome Company. We screen the majority of an individual’s DNA through whole genome sequencing and interpretation to provide insights on inherited disease risks, carrier status, drug sensitivities, traits and ancestry. Our mission is to help people understand their genetics and make more informed health and lifestyle decisions with the involvement of their physician and access to skilled genetic counselors.

Co-founded in 2014 by George Church and leading scientists from the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, Veritas operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. The company was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2016. For more information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Veritas Genetics Collaborates with Dr. Steven Narod and Women’s College Hospital to Launch The Screen Project a Population-Based BRCA​ ​Screening Initiative across Canada

BOSTON, March 28, 2017 – ​Veritas Genetics, the global leader in accessible genetic sequencing and interpretation, will provide BRCA testing for Canadian women and men who enroll in ​The Screen Project, a new Women’s College Hospital (WCH) initiative led by researchers in the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit. By overcoming the current existing gaps in eligibility, WCH and Veritas will give Canadians unprecedented access to hereditary cancer screening. The goal is to enroll 10,000 participants within one year.

The Screen Project was developed at WCH by Dr. Mohammad Akbari, a discoverer of RECQL as the breast cancer susceptibility gene and Dr. Steven Narod, a co-discoverer of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as well as the recipient of the 2016 Basser Global Prize for his work on breast and ovarian cancer genetics.

Approximately 1 in 200 Canadians have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, which are strongly associated with the development of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. However, genetic testing for these gene mutations in Canada is only offered to, and covered for, people who meet strict eligibility criteria based on several factors including having a strong family history of cancer. “Population-based genetic testing is a new approach for widespread screening in Canada that we hope will change the current genetic testing paradigm,” said Dr. Steven Narod, co-principal investigator and the director of the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at WCH.

With The Screen Project, all Canadians, age 18 years and older, will have access to BRCA1 and BRCA2 screening for a fee of $165 USD. Once they enroll online, participants will receive a saliva testing kit at home. Veritas will process their returned samples at the company’s laboratory, and the results will be reported to the patient within 2 to 4 weeks. Those who test positive for a BRCA mutation will be contacted by the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at WCH and will be offered additional clinical guidance. Those who receive a negative or inconclusive result will be notified through a report from Veritas.

“For years, our research team have been advocating for population-based genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2,the two most clinically actionable susceptibility genes for breast and ovarian cancers. However, this has not been possible until now mostly because of the high cost of the test and the difficulties in participant enrollment,” explained Dr. Mohammad Akbari, co-principal investigator of the study and director of the Research Molecular Genetics Laboratory at WCH. “We found Veritas to be the best match for The Screen Project given their ability to enroll patients quickly and at the best price possible.”

“We now know using family history as the only selection criteria for genetic testing can make us miss up to half of all individuals who would greatly benefit from early access to this information,” said Mirza Cifric, co-founder and CEO of Veritas. “This is the first of several population-based initiatives we at Veritas will be rolling out in various countries over the coming months. It’s equally important to mention that these screening efforts will be coupled with the appropriate follow-up clinical care. This is why we are so excited to work with Drs. Narod and Akbari at WCH. We believe this is the model for future cancer screening.”

Currently, Veritas’ myBRCA products are available through distributors in more than 30 countries. Individuals in the U.S. who are interested in BRCA testing can learn more at veritasgenetics.com/mybrca.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas Genetics is a global leader in providing accessible genetic screening and interpretation to individuals, physicians, and medical researchers. By removing barriers to genetic screening and whole genome sequencing, Veritas Genetics empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that help people live longer, healthier lives. The company was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the “50 Smartest Companies” in 2016. Veritas was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. Learn more at veritasgenetics.com.

About Women’s College Hospital
For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of equitable access, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is developing new, scalable models of care that deliver improved outcomes for patients and sustainable solutions for the health system as a whole.

Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) is tackling some of the greatest health challenges of our time. Its scientists are conducting global research that advances the health of women and improves healthcare options for all,and are then translating those discoveries to provide much-needed improvements in healthcare worldwide.For more information about how WCH and WCRI are transforming patient care, visit www.womenscollegehospital.ca and www.womensresearch.ca

Veritas Genetics China Passes CAP & CLIA Inspections for Next Generation Sequencing

Boston, MA and Hangzhou, China​, June 1, 2017 – ​Veritas Genetics, the global leader in genetic sequencing and interpretation, announced that its laboratory located in Hangzhou, China has passed on-site inspection for the Laboratory Accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the lab is also now qualified for the CAP accreditation and CLIA certification. CLIA certification is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Acts of 1988 (CLIA).

Veritas China passed the stringent set of U.S. standards during the initial inspections and within just six months of being in operation. Veritas is only the second, independent clinical laboratory in China with whole genome sequencing capacity to make this accomplishment.

“The China team has reached a considerable milestone in achieving third-party laboratory validation and signifies our commitment to our customers, physicians and partners across Asia,” said Veritas Cofounder and CEO, Mirza Cifric.

Veritas Genetics’ China R&D center and business headquarters opened in July of 2016 to address China’s increasing demand for precision medicine and the goal of integrating genetics into health care decisions. “Passing CAP and CLIA regulations exemplifies our mission to always meet the highest quality global standards,” said Jonathan Zhao, PhD, Cofounder and Managing Director of Veritas Genetics China.

About CAP
As the world's largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, the College of American Pathologists serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. For more information, visit cap.org.

About CLIA
The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) establish quality standards for all laboratory testing to ensure the accuracy, reliability and timeliness of patient test results regardless of where the test was performed. CLIA specifies quality standards for proficiency testing (PT), patient test management, quality control, personnel qualifications and quality assurance for laboratories performing moderate and/or high complexity tests.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas Genetics is a global leader in providing in genetic testing, interpretation, and storage services to individuals, physicians, and medical researchers. By removing barriers to genetic screening and whole genome sequencing, Veritas Genetics empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that help people live longer, healthier lives. The company was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top “50 Smartest Companies 2016.” Veritas was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. Learn more at veritasgenetics.com.

Globally Renowned Molecular Genetics Expert, Birgit Funke, PhD, Joins Veritas Genetics as Vice President of Clinical Affairs

Boston, MA, February 8, 2017 – ​Veritas Genetics , the global leader in genetic sequencing and interpretation, welcomes Birgit Funke, PhD, FACMG as Vice President of Clinical Affairs. A board-certified clinical molecular geneticist, Funke is also an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.

As sequencing increasingly becomes a commodity, the ability to provide highly sophisticated, whole genome interpretation at scale has become a key industry differentiator. In her new role, Dr. Funke joins Veritas Genetics’ team of over 100 people made up of curators, bioinformaticians and developers to streamline the company’s interpretation process, implement automation and deliver actionable, clinical insights to consumers (and their physicians) around the world.

In addition to joining Veritas Genetics, Funke will continue her work at Partners Healthcare’s cutting-edge Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, a CLIA-certified molecular diagnostic laboratory. Throughout her many years of driving advances in genetics, Dr. Funke has been at the forefront of employing groundbreaking discoveries, including being among the first to implement next generation sequencing in a clinic setting.

“Veritas Genetics caught my attention when they broke the $1,000 whole genome barrier. I thought this is a company dedicated to driving major advancements in genomics and committing the resources to do so,” explained Dr. Funke. “Together, we are on a mission to make whole genome sequencing and interpretation more accessible, affordable and understandable to people around the world. This is the next step towards preventing disease instead of solely treating it."

Dr. Funke serves on the following industry associations and organizations:

  • Co-Chair, Cardiovascular Domain Working Group, ClinGen
  • Chair, Genetics Subdivision, Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP)
  • Advisor, Next Generation Sequencing, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Member, Next Generation Sequencing Project Team, College of American Pathologists (CAP)


“We are focused on building the strongest sequencing and interpretation team in the industry, and Birgit will be central to our strategy for variant interpretation and classification, expanding our infrastructure and automating the process.This is a key requirement to scale the interpretation process globally,” said Mirza Cifric, Co-founder and CEO of Veritas Genetics. “She is one of the strongest forces behind the advancement of molecular genetics, and she has a genuine passion for ensuring people across the globe have access to this powerful information.To say we are incredibly excited to have her join our team is an understatement.”

Photos of Birgit Funke, PhD available upon request.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas Genetics is a global pioneer in consumer genetics by availing accessible genetic information to individuals, physicians, and medical researchers. By removing barriers to genetic screening and whole genome sequencing, Veritas Genetics empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that help people live longer, healthier lives. The company was recently recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top “50 Smartest Companies 2016 in the World.” Veritas was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. Learn more at veritasgenetics.com.

Veritas Genetics Adds Three Scientific Advisory Board Members to Accelerate Progress and Discovery in Consumer Genetics

Boston, MA, December 15, 2016 – Veritas Genetics ​, a global leader in genetic sequencing and screening, welcomes three respected experts to its distinguished ​Scientific Advisory Board. ​ Chosen for their complementary perspectives and expertise in the fields of biomedical informatics, physiology and molecular genetics, the new members will contribute years of insight and a range of perspectives to the startup, which earlier this year, broke the $1,000 barrier for offering whole genome sequencing and interpretation to consumers, physicians and biomedical researchers.

Having recently announced $30 million in Series B funding, the company, which also offers targeted genetic screening tests for hereditary cancer and reproductive health, is focused on continuing its scientific momentum in a manner that is both cutting edge as well as clinically ​conscientious.

“​Whole genome sequencing is going to catalyze the transition to evidence-based preventive healthcare and -- as with ​anything that is this sophisticated -- we will benefit greatly from multiple, pioneering perspectives,” said Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Preston Estep III, PhD. “This is why our Scientific Advisory Board is made up of such a diverse group of experts. We have gathered world leaders in various key areas to provide a range of deep insights into the genome, so that we can lead this industry and progressively improve the course of human wellness and medicine.”

Veritas Genetic’s myGenome, the company’s whole genome sequencing product, provides far more comprehensive genetic testing information than other current options on the market, which only examine a small fraction of the genome. By exploring the majority of the six billion bases (letters) in the human genome, Veritas Genetics is able to better ​-- ​ and more reliably ​-- ​identify certain genetic variants, giving people actionable insights on personal issues such as diet and nutrition, risk for disease, family planning, and ancestry.

The three new scientific advisory board members are:

  • Hans Lehrach, PhD - ​Director Emeritus at Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics in Germany, CEO/CSO Dahlem Centre for Genome Research & Medical System Biology, and Founder of Alacris Theranostics Gmbh.
  • Scott Parazynski, MD ​ - Former NASA Astronaut and Physiologist with expertise in human adaptation to extreme environments, C ​EO of Fluidity Technologies and prolific product developer.
  • Shamil Sunyaev, PhD ​ - Professor, Biomedical Informatics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chair in Computational Genomics, Research Geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Member of Broad Institute.


They join Veritas Genetics’ current scientific advisory board members: Harvard Medical School Professor and Genetics pioneer, George Church, PhD; Peter Blume-Jensen, MD, PhD; George Siber, MD, PhD; and Scott Patterson, PhD.

According to Dr. Estep, “Hans Lehrach has long been a leader in various aspects of genetics, genomics, and integrative biology of cancer and other diseases. Scott Parazynski has lived a unique and extraordinary life both on and off the planet, combined with world-class medical experience and credentials. Finally, Shamil Sunyaev is a recognized world leader in bringing rigorous theoretical and computational biology to the everyday practice of genetic analyses of clinical and other traits. We are really excited to have them on board.”

Photos available upon request.

About VeritasGenetics
Veritas Genetics is a global pioneer in consumer genetics by availing accessible genetic information to individuals, physicians, and medical researchers. By removing barriers to genetic screening and whole genome sequencing, Veritas Genetics empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that help people live longer, healthier lives. The company was recently recognized by ​MIT Technology Review as one of the top “50 Smartest Companies 2016 in the World.” Veritas was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China.

Veritas Genetics Secures $30M in Series B Funding Expands Team with Strategic Hires to Drive Advancements in Whole Genome Sequencing

Boston, MA, October 17, 2016 - Veritas Genetics, a global leader in accessible genetic testing, announced $30 million in Series B funding from existing backer Lilly Asia Ventures and new investors Trustbridge Partners and Jiangsu Simcere Pharmaceutical. The round, led by Trustbridge Partners, a global growth equity investor with offices in Boston and Shanghai, and Jiangsu Simcere Pharmaceutical, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in China, will be allocated towards expanding the company’s product portfolio and operations, enhancing the consumer digital experience and forging key partnerships with hospitals and researchers globally.

The first company to break the $1,000 genome barrier earlier this year, Veritas Genetics offers whole genome sequencing as well as targeted genetic screening tests in hereditary cancer and reproductive health. The investment brings Veritas Genetics’ total funding to $42 million, $12 million of which was garnered through a Series A round in 2015.

“With a $999 genome, we are at the tipping point of a transformation in healthcare where the genome is going to be at the center of many decisions we make about our health and quality of life, throughout our lives,” said Mirza Cifric, founder and CEO of Veritas Genetics. “This investment is not only a sign of confidence in our team and the company but one for the entire genomic industry. We are excited to have our new investors, which include world class teams with strategic value in the U.S. and Asian markets, as we expand globally.”

To lead these efforts, the Company welcomes three seasoned executives to its team:

  • Chief Operating Officer, Tim Smith, is a 20-year-veteran in operations and information technology, with senior roles at Sapient, Fidelity, Hewlett Packard and most recently, Cimpress. Tim brings decades of experience in scaling organizations and technology and is building the infrastructure to scale the Veritas Genetics platform for global genomic services.
  • Chief Marketing and Design Officer, Rodrigo Martinez, previously Life Sciences Chief Strategist at IDEO and Principal at The Boston Consulting Group, is leading the strategic marketing and design of a Veritas Genetics consumer engagement platform, a first-of-its-kind endeavor in the genomics space.
  • Chief Commercial Officer, Doug Flood, a seasoned commercial and corporate development executive, is driving rapid growth through partnerships with leading researchers, clinicians and international commercial partners embracing the value of accessible genetic testing.


Co-founded in 2014 by Harvard Medical School Professor and genetics pioneer, Dr. George Church, Veritas Genetics was recently recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top “50 Smartest Companies 2016 in the World.”

The Veritas Genetics executive team's experience sequencing whole genomes extends more than 10 years as part of the Personal Genome Project (PGP) at Harvard Medical School. In addition to Mirza Cifric and Dr. Church, Veritas Genetics was founded by Chief Scientific Officer, Preston Estep III, PhD, director of gerontology at the PGP and Jonathan Zhao, PhD, managing director Asia.

About Veritas Genetics
Veritas Genetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing barriers to genetic screening and whole genome sequencing, Veritas Genetics empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that enable disease prevention and longer, healthier lives. Veritas is founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China.

VeritasGenetics China’s State-Of-The-Art R&D Center and Collaborations to Boost China Personalized Healthcare

Boston and Hangzhou, July 11, 2016 – VeritasGenetics, global leader in accessible genetic testing, held a grand opening ceremony for its Asia R&D center and business headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on July 8. On the same day, Veritas also announced new strategic partnerships with Simcere, Seven Bridges and Kindstar Global to support the growth and opportunities for personalized healthcare in China.

Over a hundred VIPs from administrations, universities, medical research institutes and business partners attended the ceremony at Veritas’ brand-new, 40,000 square feet, state-of-the-art laboratory. “This is a milestone and proud moment for all of us,” said Jonathan Zhao, Managing Director of VeritasGenetics Asia and one of the company’s founders. “With the support of Lilly Asia Ventures, we are continuing to build out our capabilities and expand our partnerships, now including Simcere, Seven Bridges and Kindstar Global, to address China’s increasing demand for precision medicine and integrating genetics into healthcare decisions.”

At the ceremony, Dr. Zhao also officially announced the China launch of VeritasGenetics’ myBRCA HiRisk screening test for breast and ovarian cancer and myGenome for whole genome sequencing.

Earlier this year, VeritasGenetics was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top “50 Smartest Companies 2016” in the world for breaking through the $1K genome barrier and making whole genome sequencing and interpretation broadly accessible. VeritasGenetics will be introducing a series of reproductive tests, whole genome sequencing and its interactive platform for reporting and genetic counseling in China before the end of 2016.

About VeritasGenetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing barriers to genetic screening, Veritas empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that enable disease prevention and longer, healthier lives. Veritas is founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China. www.veritasgenetics.com.

About Lilly Asia Ventures
Lilly Asia Ventures, founded in 2008, is dedicated to venture capital investments in the life sciences and healthcare sectors in Asia, particularly in China. Its investors include Eli Lilly & Co., a Fortune 500 company and one of the most globalized and innovative pharmaceutical companies in the world. As a leading biomedical venture fund in China, Lilly Asia Ventures provides wise capital, industry expertise, and global resources to its portfolio companies to accelerate their growth.

About Simcere
Simcere Pharmaceutical is a leading manufacturer and supplier of pharmaceuticals with a focus on providing more effective medicines and reshaping the future of healthcare in China.

About Seven Bridges
Seven Bridges is a biomedical data analysis company using a scalable, cloud-based platform that empowers rapid, collaborative analysis of millions of genomes in concert with other forms of biomedical data, all to accelerate breakthroughs in genomics research for cancer, drug development and precision medicine.

About Kindstar Global
Kindstar is the first and largest esoteric (e.g. analysis of 'rare' substances or molecules) diagnostic testing service in China with laboratory facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, serving over 2,000 Chinese hospitals, including 660 tertiary care hospitals.

VeritasGenetics Recognized by Mit Technology Review for Advancing Access to Whole Genome Sequencing

Boston, MA, July 7, 2016 – Veritas Genetics, global leader in accessible genetic testing, was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top “50 Smartest Companies 2016” in the world. Each year, MIT Technology Review picks the 50 companies that best combine innovative technology with an effective business model. Veritas was recognized for breaking through the $1K genome barrier and making whole genome sequencing and interpretation broadly accessible.

“It’s obviously an honor to be in the company of other pioneers such as Illumina, Tesla and Alphabet (Google),” says Mirza Cifric, founder and CEO of VeritasGenetics. “What’s more important to us is that this validates our approach for scaling innovation in whole genome sequencing to create meaningful consumer value.”

“Access to the knowledge within one's own genome is probably the most important advance resulting from the $2.7 billion investment to sequence the first draft of the human genome,” emphasizes Preston Estep, Veritas’ Chief Scientific Officer and founder. “Veritas is leading the worldwide effort to deliver to all people--both individually and collectively--a return on that investment.”

“MIT Technology Review’s Top 50 will be dominated by companies like ours over the next 10 years as genomics becomes inescapable when patients talk with their doctors about their health,” adds Mr. Cifric. “We are at the tipping point of a revolution that will transform healthcare and energize the overall economy. It’s exciting to be a catalyst for that kind of change.”

About VeritasGenetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing barriers to genetic screening, Veritas empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that enable disease prevention and longer, healthier lives. Veritas is founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China.

VeritasGenetics Partners with Pioneer Ranomics to Classify Variants of Uncertain Significance

Boston, MA, May 24, 2016 – Veritas Genetics, global leader in accessible genetic testing, is partnering with biotech startup Ranomics to uncover new insights about genetic variants of uncertain significance (VUS). Currently, VUSs are one of the main reasons why both patients and physicians are hesitant to consider genetic screening tests when seeking information about cancer risk. A pilot study earlier this year that included functional studies of BRCA1 variants provided by Veritas demonstrated the strength and reliability of functional studies in variant classification efforts.

"In some cases, there is simply not enough information available from research and clinical studies to provide insights about all genetic variants included in a report,” indicates Sharon Namaroff, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor and Director of Clinical Services at Veritas. “It can be extremely anxiety provoking for patients who will now have to live with the knowledge that they have a mutation of uncertain clinical significance.”

Veritas is committed to frequent reviews of all variants in their sizeable database, and reclassification of any mutation that has sufficient new evidence. Among this evidence, Veritas considers Ranomics’ functional assays as well as family studies and other genetic information. Ranomics’ assay was shown to be highly predictive of pathogenicity, outperforming assays currently used by many laboratories.

About VeritasGenetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing barriers to genetic screening, Veritas empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that enable disease prevention and longer, healthier lives. Veritas is founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China.

About Ranomics
Toronto-based Ranomics is committed to resolving VUS in genetic testing results. Earlier this year, the company launched Ranomics Ring-Domain, a database of internally conducted high-throughput functional studies of 2,000 potential mutations in BRCA1, one of the most commonly mutated genes in breast and ovarian cancers.

VeritasGenetics Launches $999 Whole Genome and Sets New Standard for Genetic Testing

Boston, MA, March 4, 2016 – Veritas Genetics, co-founded by Harvard Medical School professor and genetics pioneer Dr. George Church, today introduces Veritas myGenome, the world’s first whole genome for less than $1,000, including interpretation and genetic counseling. VeritasGenetics first broke the $1,000 genome barrier in 2015 in a collaboration with the Personal Genome Project (PGP) at Harvard Medical School, making it possible for the Harvard PGP’s 5,000 participants to have their genome sequenced by Veritas at this cost. VeritasGenetics is building a platform that will make it easy for its customers and their healthcare providers to use genetic information throughout their lives, including:

  • A secure digital report and app to easily refer to and interact with results.
  • Access to their genome for additional interpretation as health needs evolve and science advances.
  • On-demand additional genetic counseling via video conferencing.
  • Lifestyle-relevant genetic information that can be shared with non-clinical service providers such as fitness coaches and nutritionists.
  • Access to specialists when needed at The WorldCare Consortium® hospitals, which include top ranked institutions including Partners Healthcare System (e.g. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation), Duke Medicine, and Penn Medicine, among others, for clinical opinions and clinical follow-up care through Veritas Genetics’ partnership with WorldCare International, Inc.
  • Integration of other “omics” data sets on a single platform.


Veritas' myGenome is breaking historic ground by making whole genome sequencing and interpretation broadly accessible. Most commercially available genetic tests offer access to only small portions of the genome through gene panels (i.e., testing specific sets of genes), genotyping (i.e., testing less than 0.1% of DNA positions scattered throughout the genome) or exome sequencing (i.e., sequencing only gene coding regions which cover less than 1.5% of the genome). Research also shows that without sequencing the whole genome, these other genetic testing approaches miss 90% or more of clinically relevant variants, which lie in parts of the genome outside of the gene coding regions.*

“Now that the whole genome is this accessible, it will replace all genetic tests ... because it is all genetic tests, and much, much more,” points out Dr. Church. “The whole genome is the new standard. At this price point, there is no reason to use anything but the whole genome, especially for any tests that are close to or more than the price of our whole genome,” adds Mirza Cifric, CEO and co-founder.

“The whole genome is the foundation of precision medicine and a lifetime resource to maximize quality of life and longevity.”

The Veritas team’s experience sequencing whole genomes extends over 10 years as part of the Personal Genome Project (PGP) at Harvard Medical School. In addition to Dr. Church, VeritasGenetics’ Chief Scientific Officer Preston Estep is also Director for Genome Sequencing at the PGP. Dr. Joseph Thakuria, the company’s Chief Medical Officer, has also served as Medical Director at the PGP.

Veritas' myGenome is performed in a CLIA laboratory, includes genetic counseling for clinically relevant conditions and requires a physician order. It is currently available for pre-orders in the U.S. through the company’s website. Additional countries will be added in the coming months.

About VeritasGenetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing barriers to genetic screening, Veritas empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that enable disease prevention and longer and healthier lives. Veritas is founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and operates globally from its offices in the U.S., Europe and China.

* Maurano MT, et al. Systematic localization of common disease-associated variation in regulatory DNA. Science. 2012 Sep 7;337 (6099):1190- 5. doi: 10.1126/science.1222794. Epub 2012 Sep 5. PMID: 22955828. SCIENCE

VeritasGenetics and Worldcare Partnership First to Integrate Next Generation Whole Genome Sequencing and World-Class Medical Second Opinion Services

BOSTON, February 22, 2016 – Veritas Genetics and WorldCare today announce a strategic partnership to integrate their next generation genetic testing with world-class medical second opinion services provided by the WorldCare Consortium®. This global partnership bridges the gap between genetic testing and personalized care, providing patients with access to the best in cutting-edge technology, coupled with follow-up medical care from the top clinical specialists available. The same high touch, customized concierge approach is available domestically and internationally as well.

With this partnership, VeritasGenetics whole genome and targeted testing clients will have access to over 20,500 specialists from top U.S. academic medical institutions, members of the WorldCare Consortium®, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Duke Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Penn Medicine, Partners Healthcare System (which includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital), Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, and UCLA Healthcare, through WorldCare’s comprehensive telemedicine and specialty medical services. WorldCare’s clients will also have unique access to VeritasGenetics’ full suite of genetic testing products, as well as its personalized whole genome clinical service, Veritas Concierge.

“At Veritas we strongly believe in working with healthcare providers to integrate genetics in prevention and long-term wellbeing of individuals. We want to provide the most informed and best possible follow-up care for any client of ours and are therefore partnering with an organization with shared values of the highest quality of care and global accessibility,” said Mirza Cifric, Founder and Chief Officer of VeritasGenetics.

VeritasGenetics was co-founded by Harvard Medical School professor and genetics pioneer Dr. George Church, who launched the Harvard Personal Genome Project (PGP) in 2005. In October, VeritasGenetics became the first organization to break the “$1,000 genome barrier” by offering its members whole-genome sequencing and interpretation for less than $1,000. The partnership set the scientific standard for whole genome interpretation and integration with other healthcare information.

WorldCare has been helping its members to make more informed medical decisions for over 20 years, through highlypersonalized second medical opinion consultations. WorldCare’s Second Opinion service connects millions of members with specialists at world-class medical centers.

Both VeritasGenetics and WorldCare share strong roots in Boston’s scientific community and at Harvard Medical School. “The goal of our partnership is to provide a world-class, fully-integrated medical service with a strong focus on clinical outcomes by integrating personalized medicine and genomics. We pioneered the multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional second opinion process, and are proud to partner with visionary organizations like VeritasGenetics to continue our commitment to good health,” said Dr. Hassan Sharif, Chief Medical Officer of WorldCare.

VeritasGenetics and WorldCare China entered into a collaboration earlier this year, providing this unique integrated service to their Chinese clients. “This is a natural partnership to bring state-of-the-art genetic testing and premium U.S. medical consultations together in China,“ said Jonathan Zhao, one of Veritas’ Gentics’ founders and Managing Director of the company’s China operations. “Our collaboration with Veritas fits perfectly with our focus on addressing the unique needs of Asian populations,” said Dr. Steven Wu of WorldCare China. Last year, VeritasGenetics established an R&D center in the Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Area (HEDA).

About VeritasGenetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing the barriers to genetic screening, VeritasGenetics empowers individuals and doctors to make informed decisions that can lead to disease prevention and longer and healthier lives. The company was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School with over 10 years of experience in genome interpretation at Harvard’s Personal Genome Project (PGP). VeritasGenetics is headquartered in Boston, with additional labs and offices in Europe (Luxembourg) and Asia (Shanghai).

About WorldCare
WorldCare’s mission is to improve the quality of healthcare worldwide by maximizing timely, efficient and strategic access to the best in healthcare. WorldCare is the only organization with a strategic, technological and operational relationship with top-ranked teaching and research hospitals in North America, the WorldCare Consortium®. For over 20 years, WorldCare has empowered members and physicians with the clinical information and resources needed to make more informed medical decisions through its telemedicine services, providing access to specialists at these world-class medical centers. With over 20,500 specialists and sub-specialists who have access to more than $4.3 billion dollars in annual biomedical research funding, the Consortium is unique in the depth and breadth of its medical expertise. Leveraging award-winning capabilities and revolutionary technology to provide unparalleled service and expertise, WorldCare offers customized services to meet the unique needs of its clients and members worldwide.

VeritasGenetics Advances Access to Cancer Prevention with New Test for High-Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancer Patients

Boston, MA, January 6, 2016 – VeritasGenetics continues to advance hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) prevention with the introduction of myBRCA HiRisk. As a new 26-gene screening panel, myBRCA HiRisk is a comprehensive HBOC screening test specifically designed for high-risk populations. Priced at $299 USD, myBRCA HiRisk is a reflection of the company’s global mission to make disease prevention and early detection through genetic testing more accessible.

Earlier this year, Veritas introduced its myBRCA screening test for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as the most out-of-pocket affordable ($199) breast and ovarian cancer screening test. myBRCA is currently offered in over 20 countries worldwide and received the European CE mark in 2015.

“Screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, as offered through the myBRCA test, should be the first step in a HBOC cancer prevention regimen for most people,” according to VeritasGenetics Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Thakuria. “The needs of patients in the high-risk category,” he emphasizes, “are served much better with the more comprehensive approach offered with our new myBRCA HiRisk multi-gene panel.”

A recently published clinical study performed over 10 years at Massachusetts General, Stanford and Beth Israel Deaconess hospitals supports this approach. The study concluded that, “in a clinically representative cohort, multigene panel testing for HBOC risk assessment yielded findings likely to change clinical management for substantially more patients than does BRCA1/2 testing alone.” This approach may improve clinical outcomes for high-risk individuals and their families and “will improve cancer risk assessment and management recommendations for mutation-affected individuals across a broad spectrum of cancer predisposition genes.”*

VeritasGenetics’ high-risk panel test identifies germline mutations in 26 genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are associated with increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer as well as other associated cancers. myBRCA HiRisk also tests for structural rearrangements in BRCA1 and BRCA2.

The myBRCA HiRisk panel also includes genes known to be associated with Lynch syndrome, Cowden syndrome, LiFraumeni syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome and several other genetic syndromes, including Bloom syndrome, Fanconi Anemia, and Ataxia Telangiectasia.

“A concern with multigene panel testing that needs to be considered is the higher rate of variants of uncertain significance (VUS) and the fact that many of the genes we are looking at are involved in other forms of cancer,” acknowledges Dr. Thakuria. “Multigene panel testing like myBRCA HiRisk is primarily recommended for patients that fall in a high-risk category, especially those who tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 despite their high-risk profile. High-risk patients are likely already talking with their doctors about these kinds of testing options and the possibility of VUSs,” he adds.

myBRCA HiRisk will be available through veritasgenetics.com starting in Q1 of 2016. It requires a physician’s order, can be performed using a saliva or blood sample, and is done at a VeritasGenetics’ CLIA-certified laboratory. Pre- and post-testing genetic counseling is included and available either from VeritasGenetics directly or from healthcare institutions ordering the test for their patients.

About VeritasGenetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing the barriers to genetic screening, Veritas empowers individuals and doctors to make informed decisions that can lead to disease prevention and longer and healthier lives. The company was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School and is headquartered in Boston, with additional labs and offices in Europe (Luxemburg) and Asia (Shanghai).

* Desmond A, et al., “Clinical Actionability of Multi-gene Panel Testing for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment”, JAMA Oncol, 2015; 1(7):943-951. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2690 JAMA

VeritasGenetics Breaks $1,000 Whole Genome Barrier

Boston, MA September 29, 2015 – VeritasGenetics today announced that the company is making it possible for participants in the Personal Genome Project (PGP) to be among the first to get their whole genome sequenced and interpreted for less than a $1,000.

Led by VeritasGenetics Co-Founder Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Personal Genome Project, PGP is a long-term effort to sequence thousands of complete genomes to enable research into personal genomics and personalized medicine. PGP has more than 16,000 participants worldwide.

The “$1,000 Genome” has long been considered the tipping point when sequencing and interpreting the human genome becomes commonplace and begins to rapidly increase what is known and to dramatically impact healthcare. The catchphrase underscores how far science has come since the actual cost of the Human Genome Project, estimated at $2.7 billion spent over a decade.

Since then, others have touted the $1,000 genome, but never before has an organization been able to include interpretation, which is the key to applying genetic information into decisions about disease monitoring, prevention, nutrition, exercise, and more. “This is a true milestone worth celebrating, since it includes interpretation and genetic counseling,” says Dr. Church.

VeritasGenetics’ collaboration with PGP is a natural step. Three of the company founders have over 10 years of experience in processing and understanding whole genomes from their work with PGP. In addition to Dr. Church, VeritasGenetics’ Chief Scientific Officer Preston Estep is PGP’s Director of Sequencing, and Dr. Joseph Thakuria, the company’s Chief Medical Officer, serves as PGP’s Medical Director.

“Today’s announcement is a watershed moment that will truly change the way we take care of ourselves and our families,” says Mirza Cifric, VeritasGenetics’ CEO and Founder. “While the cost of sequencing has dramatically declined, there is still a need for interpretation and information that is tangible and action-able to help individuals live better and longer lives. At Veritas, we are unlocking the potential of the $1,000 genome starting with early adopters, PGP participants. You can expect to see much more from us on this topic as we expand access beyond the PGP.”

In June 2015, VeritasGenetics broke a similar barrier for breast and ovarian cancer by making its myBRCA genetic screening test of BRCA1 and BRCA2 available for $199. The myBRCA test showcases the range of genetic testing that VeritasGenetics will be offering, from specific panel tests through whole human genome sequencing. PGP participants are able to sign up with VeritasGenetics to have their whole genome sequenced at www.veritasgenetics.com/pgp.

About Veritas Genetics
VeritasGenetics is a global pioneer in disease prevention through accessible genetic information. By removing the barriers to genetic screening, Veritas empowers individuals and doctors to make informed lifestyle decisions that can lead to disease prevention and longer and healthier lives. Veritas is founded by leaders in genomics and operates globally from its offices in US, Europe and China.

VeritasGenetics Opens Asia R&D Center Dedicated to Addressing the Genetic Needs of Asian Populations

Boston/Shanghai/Luxembourg, September 15, 2015 – VeritasGenetics, a pioneer in improving the accessibility of genetic testing, is establishing an R&D center in the Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Area (HEDA), Hangzhou, China, and expanding its China-based leadership team. The R&D center will be dedicated to developing products that address the unique genetic needs of Asian populations.

The team is led by Managing Director, Jonathan Y. Zhao, Ph.D., an executive with more than 15 years of Asia strategy and product launch experience with Amgen and Pfizer; Lei Li, MD, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Clinical and Regulatory Affairs; and, Min Wang, Ph.D., Vice President of China R&D.

“We are determined to develop products that address the unique genetic variants which are common in Asian populations” says Dr. Li, “and are making a significant commitment to bring VeritasGenetics’ technology to Asia” Dr. Li recently led the clinical genetics laboratory at Novartis in Boston, and previously was in a similar role with Pfizer.

Alpha thalassemia, as one example, is an inherited blood disorder that is much more prevalent in Asian populations compared to rest of the world, with as high as 14% of the population carrying disease variants in some regions.* The blood disorder is marked by a reduction in hemoglobin and can result in fetal death in utero or shortly after birth.**

“We are beginning to collaborate with institutions in China and Asia to help address these unique genetic needs” adds Dr. Wang, who left his post at the Human Genome Sequencing Center of the Baylor College of Medicine to lead Veritas rapidly growing China R&D team. With deep ties in China, including its venture backer Lilly Asia Ventures, VeritasGenetics is executing on the mission to make disease prevention through genetic screening products accessible globally. This is especially important in underserved populations where affordability and accessibility are key barriers to opportunities for disease prevention and early detection.

* David H.K. Chui and John S. Waye. “Hydrops Fetalis Caused by a-Thalassemia: An Emerging Health Care Problem” The Journal of The American Society of Hematology, April 1, 1998, Vol 91, No 7. Link

** Divya-Devi Joshi, MD, FAAP, H. James Nickerson, MD, and Michael J. McManus, MD. “Hydrops Fetalis Caused by Homozygous -Thalassemia and Rh Alloimmuniyation.” Clin Med Res. 2004 Nov; 2(4): 228 232. Link

VeritasGenetics Receives European Ce Mark Approval for myBRCA Genetic Test for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Boston, MA, August 24, 2015 – Boston-based VeritasGenetics, a pioneer in accessible genetic screening for disease prevention and early detection, received its first European CE mark approval for the company’s hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genetic screening test, myBRCA. Veritas introduced myBRCA, which sequences BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes using proprietary gene-targeting technology and Next Generation Sequencing, in North America in May 2015.

“Working closely with European oncology researchers, we validated myBRCA across ethnicities, making this a very comprehensive test especially for European population” says Veritas CEO Mirza Cifric. “With the CE mark approval we are starting to offer myBRCA in more than 15 countries in Europe.”

myBRCA is a simple, affordable, saliva-based test performed in a clinical lab. The test identifies mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, is over 99.99% accurate, and uses a database representing over half a million patients and 8,000 known mutations.*

Breast and ovarian cancer risk is high in individuals with a known family history of these cancers. However, studies show that some 50% of women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have no substantial family history of breast and ovarian cancer.** Over 20 years of experience and clinical evidence show that harmful mutations in these genes represent a lifetime risk of up to 80% for breast cancer and up to 40% for ovarian cancer.***

“We believe knowledge is power,” says Preston Estep III, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Veritas and Director of Gerontology of the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School. “We are dedicated to making genetic information accessible globally so everyone can make informed decisions about disease prevention and early detection.”

Veritas was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School, Dr. George Church and Dr. Preston Estep, and Massachusetts General Hospital, Joseph Thakuria M.D., and life sciences entrepreneurs Mirza Cifric and Jonathan Zhao. Veritas has operations in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.

* VeritasGenetics myBRCA Validation Summary, May 11, 2015. LINK

** King M-C, Levy-Lahad E, Lahad A. Population-Based Screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2. JAMA. 2014;312(11):1091-1092. NCBI

*** Petrucelli N, Daly MB, Feldman GL. BRCA1 and BRCA2 Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. 1998 Sep 4 [Updated 2013 Sep 26]. In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, et al., editors. GeneReviews®[Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2015. NCBI

VeritasGenetics to Advance Precision Medicine and Disease Prevention

Boston, MA, June 1, 2015 – Boston-based VeritasGenetics is launching its mission to disrupt the genetic testing industry and bring personalized medicine and prevention to the forefront, allowing individuals to take more control of their health. Beginning with its first product, a genetic screen for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk, VeritasGenetics is making its products affordable and accessible, and in turn exponentially expanding the amount of genetic data which will be shared with the scientific community to advance our collective understanding of disease and prevention.

VeritasGenetics was founded by leaders in genomics from Harvard Medical School, Dr. George Church and Dr. Preston Estep, and Mass General Hospital, Joseph Thakuria M.D., as well as life sciences entrepreneurs Mirza Cifric and Jonathan Zhao. Having closed a $10MM Series A financing round with Lilly Asia Ventures in May, Veritas seeks to make personalized medicine accessible globally.

“As a society, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to remove barriers to genetic testing that can lead to disease prevention and early detection,” says Mirza Cifric, VeritasGenetics’ Chief Executive Officer. “The true potential of personalized medicine will only be realized when we expand access to include all who can benefit. And, importantly, it is critical to deliver this potentially life-changing information responsibly.”

The company is excited to launch its first genetic test, myBRCA, an affordable and simple saliva-based genetic screen of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The presence of harmful mutations in these genes means an up to 80 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer and 40 percent for ovarian cancer.* With the help of this test, women with BRCA mutations are better informed to evaluate preventative and potentially life-saving measures. myBRCA is being rolled out in the U.S., Europe and China.

BRCA testing is often limited to women who either have a known family history of cancer or have already been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. myBRCA closes a gap highlighted in a recent study by Mary-Claire King, et al., which found that 50 percent of families identified as having the BRCA1or BRCA2 mutations had no history of breast or ovarian cancer that would have triggered clinical attention.** Available for $199 at the company’s website, www.veritasgenetics.com, the myBRCA test does not require insurance carrier approval, is doctor requisitioned and offers genetic counseling.

In line with VeritasGenetics’ mission to provide access to all, the company will match every purchased test with a donated test to advocacy organizations for distribution to women in financial need. myBRCA is performed at Veritas’ CLIA certified laboratory.

"Our mission goes well beyond a single genetic test,” adds Dr. Estep, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Veritas and Director of Gerontology of the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School. “We are building Veritas to contribute increasingly large amounts of data to public databases, advancing our collective understanding of disease incidence and progression, and ultimately accelerating progress in prevention, early detection, and treatment of diseases.”

VeritasGenetics joined FreeTheData as well as the Global Alliance for Genetics and Health (GA4GH) and its BRCA Challenge to establish the world’s finest BRCA database, and will continue to contribute data to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored ClinVar database.

“We are shaking up how society approaches disease prevention by giving individuals and their doctors more control of their own health” says Cifric. “Expanding access to genetic testing is just the first step. Our social mission will truly be fulfilled when we are able to create a multiplier effect, in turn exponentially generating and sharing data that will advance science and positively impact generations to come.”

* Petrucelli N, Daly MB, Feldman GL. BRCA1 and BRCA2 Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. 1998 Sep 4 [Updated 2013 Sep 26]. In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, et al., editors. GeneReviews®[Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2015.

** King M-C, Levy- Lahad E, Lahad A. Population-Based Screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2. JAMA. 2014; 312, (11):1091-1092