Omixon Raises Capital, Launches US Office

Omixon has opened its first offices in Cambridge, MA to support the growing demand from customers for their HLA genotyping software, Omixon Target™ HLA Typing. The US office will be responsible for all in-market activities relating to sales, support and training for Omixon’s products with an additional focus on business development activities with other key US-based partners.

“Rapid growth in targeted NGS analysis applications, specifically for HLA has made it necessary the move for Omixon to have a full-time presence in our largest market, the USA”, says Tim Hague, CEO at Omixon. The HLA genotyping market, estimated at ~$400M, is a mature market, but currently underserved by existing technologies. As a consequence, the HLA genotyping market is primed to adopt next generation sequencing (NGS) to complement the existing SSO/SSP and Sanger Sequence Based Typing (SBT) to improve patient outcomes from solid organ and bone marrow transplantation operations. Omixon is perfectly positioned to take full advantage of this change, having focused on the technical bioinformatic challenges associated with the HLA region such as hypervariability, the presence of pseudogenes or near identity among some HLA genes, and most crucially the complete phasing of mutations within each allele of a gene.

The move to set up offices in the US comes on the back of Omixon successfully raising funds to facilitate the operations in the US. “Our initial investors Attila Varkonyi and Marton Szoke both had international success by being present as an entrepreneur or as a company in the US market. Our current lead investor, Euroventures being one of the longest-established and leading independent private equity and venture capital firms in Central Europe, had experience of funding successful entries to the US market and enthusiastically supported this move.” says Mr. Hague. The funds will be used to grow the US team that will support Omixon’s focus on US-based accounts and facilitate additional in-market activities.

The US office is headquartered out of the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA and led by Director of US Operations, Dr. Peter Meintjes, who joins Omixon after 4 years at Biomatters, where he was VP of Business Development. Dr. Meintjes says, “With the hub of biotechnology innovation centered around Massachusetts, and the ability to serve the whole of the US, the location was a clear first choice for Omixon”. Additionally, he notes that, “A presence in the US will be increasingly important to Omixon, as we reach additional key milestones through 2014.” 

In addition to raising further investment capital, Omixon was recently awarded a research contract, as part of the first phase of a grant competition, funded by The Department of Health (through the Small Business Research Initiative and managed by Genomics England), supporting the efforts to map 100,000 whole genomes of NHS patients with cancer or a rare disease by 2017. Tim Hague adds “We are delighted to secure this funding from such a prominent funding initiative, which will allow Omixon to further develop and validate its market- leading HLA genotyping capabilities from whole genome data”.

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