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The company helps health systems, pharma company, payers, and patients put genomic data to use
With the dramatic drop in sequencing cost, and an increased understanding of the genome, genetics is becoming applicable to more and more patients. However, there is a last-mile problem with delivering genetic information to patients and integrating it into providers’ workflows.
"To put it simply, genetic test results are stuck in PDFs somewhere in the depths of the electronic health record rather than being put to use to improve patient care," Moran Snir, co-Founder and CEO of Nest Genomics, a solution for implementing genomic programs at scale, told VatorNews. The company announced an $8.5 million seed financing round on Tuesday.
Organizations like health systems, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and payers are lacking purpose-built software tools designed for providers and patients to keep up with genetics, she said.
"Providers need clinical decision support that fits within their workflow and allows them to make decisions about patient care without having to dig through mountains of guidelines. Patients need tools that can help them better understand and manage their genetic results over time. In addition, all of this needs to be tracked and measured so that the organization can understand the health and economic impacts of the program."
What Nest Genomics offers them is a lab agnostic solution to launch and implement genomic programs at scale. That includes EMR integrated provider tools, such as patient triage, test ordering, and Clinical Decision Support for managing patients' genetic results based on the latest clinical guidelines.
It also has a patient companion that includes personalized education, results sharing, and reminders for screening.
The way it works today, Snir said, is that a patient needs to keep up on their own with all of the screening and prevention when they are found to have a genetic mutation, which can include MRIs, mammographies, medication, decisions around preventative surgeries and more, which is a lot to handle. Also, their recommendations for care might change overtime as guidelines update and the patient gets older.
With Nest, patients have all of their genetic information stored in a secure place that's connected to their provider and all of their other medical information.
"When a patient has a genetic mutation that puts them at risk for a hereditary disease, they’re care needs to be personalized based on the results of their testing and other demographic and health information," said Snir.
"This personalization can include things like earlier and more frequent monitoring as well as targeted treatments to improve clinical outcomes while reducing costs. Nest automates this process for the providers and helps educate the patient not only at the time of results but across their lifetime."
So far, Nest has contracted with five health systems and has worked with just tens of patients, as it is just now rolling the platform out to them.
The new funding round was led by B Capital and supported by Y Combinator, Casdin Capital, DCVC, Samsung Next, Maven Ventures, iAngels, Arkin Digital Health, LionBird, Anne Wojcicki, Deneen Vojta and others.
The money will be used to help Nest launch its product with additional customers, integrate with more EMRs, and expand to other clinical specialty areas, including pediatrics, polygenic risk scores, and pharmacogenetics; so far, the platform supports hereditary cancers, cardiovascular genetics, and conditions included in the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics’ secondary findings list.
"We’re interested in these areas because that’s where we see customer demand. Polygenic risk scores and pharmacogenetics are seeing a growth in uptake, and their testing yield is high, so they apply to many more patients. On the pediatrics side, Nest can help more pediatricians understand the value of genetic testing and provide timely detection which can have an enormous impact on the child and the family," said Snir.
Nest also plans to automate and integrate other parts of the genetic testing process, such as patient identification for genetic testing, genetic test ordering and returning structured test results to the EMR.
The founders of Nest, Moran Snir and Guy Snir, have built several companies focused on increasing access to genetic information over the last decade: their previous company, Clear Genetics, which was acquired by Invitae in 2019, developed the GIA platform, used nationally for scaling genetic counseling. Prior to that, they founded MorNetware, a software that screens patients for carrier screening in Israel.
"We believe that, in the next decade, every person will have their genome sequenced. Our goal is for Nest to be a genomic layer in the patient's medical record that guides personalized care across the patient's life," said Snir.
"Success looks like any person who has had their genome sequenced having access to their genomic data, and a clear, actionable, and personalized care plan that updates throughout their life."
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