Since Invitae’s inception a decade ago, the firm has been working for the proactive use of genetic information in mainstream medicine. The San Francisco, CA-based company has been using M&A activity to help bring companies under its tent to help make this goal a reality.
On Monday, the genetic-testing specialist made more progress on this front by announcing it would put down $50 million to acquire Clear Genetics, a company that develops digital counseling software.
San Francisco, CA-based Clear Genetics has developed Gia, a chatbot that equips patients with actionable information throughout the genetic testing process and provides guidance for understanding test results.
Invitae said Gia can guide patients regarding consent, personalized risk assessment, insurance benefits, pre/post-test education and understanding their test results, all through an intuitive online conversation. Patients are able to ask Gia questions throughout the process, and the chatbox uses natural language processing to respond with the resources they need. Gia is currently being used by customers in Invitae's direct channel.
In a release, Sean George, co-founder and CEO of Invitae said, “For genetics to truly go mainstream, patients and clinicians need automated workflow solutions like those Clear Genetics has created. In working with the Clear Genetics team over the past year, we have first-hand experience with the value of their patient-centric services. With their capabilities, we will greatly enhance our ability to provide a streamlined customer experience, enable scaled clinician education and support, and arm genetics experts with the tools they need to keep up with the exploding demand for genetic information in healthcare.”
Taking genetics “mainstream” is a lofty goal, but through a wide range of acquisitions, Invitae is quickly accomplishing this task. Just a few months ago the company reported it signed an agreement to acquire Singular Bio, a non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) specialist for $55 million.
Two years ago, Invitae landed two deals acquiring both Good Start Genetics and CombiMatrix, two companies that specialize in screening prospective parents and newborns. During a 2017 earnings call discussing the deals, George said these acquisitions were the beginning of genetics being “broadly available” to all and accessible to all in “mainstream medicine.”
Invitae’s 3Q19 earnings paint the picture the company’s strategy is significant inroads in reaching this goal. Looking at the numbers, the company generated revenue of $57. million in 3Q19, which represented a 51% increase over 3Q18 revenue of $37.4 million.
“Ten years ago, when we started Invitae [we wanted] to get genetic information incorporated into mainstream medical use for everyone around the world in modernized economies,” George said during Invitae’s 3Q19 earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha Transcript. “While we have many years to go, the transformation of the genetics industry is underway. And we believe our 26th quarter of on average double-digit quarter-over-quarter growth serves as an indication of a new trajectory, a new model for personalized medicine as we move this industry beyond the more than 1.7 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with cancer per year into all of the equally impactful genetic disorders affecting those we serve.”