Yesterday Palo Alto-based startup Syapse announced $3 million Series A funding led by The Social+Capital Partnership. In conjunction with the investment, Social+Capital founder (and former Facebook executive) Chamath Palihapitiya joins Syapse’s Board of Directors.
Currently, medical diagnosis and treatment is largely one-size-fits-all. In the burgeoning field of genetic testing that could better individualize care, lab results and their implications are incredibly complex, requiring specialized genetic counselors to act as intermediaries who review and interpret genetics lab results and, in turn, educate patients and doctors who might otherwise misinterpret the results. On the other hand, many genomics companies directly provide consumers and doctors with gene data but don’t have the resources or clinical expertise to offer guidance for how to take action on that information.
Syapse’s first products aim to bring personalized medicine based on granular genetic data into more routine clinical use. Syapse’s cloud-based product, Discovery, enables clinical labs to analyze and track genomic and other molecular profiling data (a so-called ‘omics’ profile), then delivers clinically relevant genetic information straight to doctors electronically so that it can be applied to patient care decisions in the proper clinical context. Syapse is in early beta on their Omics Medical Record, which they say will interoperate with major hospital IT systems through HL7 messaging in order to store patients’ ‘omics’ profiles.
Personalized medicine has potentially groundbreaking applications, such as tailoring medication dosages to an individual metabolic enzyme profile so patients aren’t under- or overdosed, or targeting cancer treatment to the genetics of a patient’s particular tumor. Some of this is already happening on a smaller scale, but Syapse’s applications could be the next step in taking personalized medicine mainstream.