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Healthtech startup 23Strands is taking genomics mainstream to transform medicine

- February 6, 2023 2 MIN READ
23Strands Genome sequencing
Biotech startup 23Strands is planning to take genomics into mainstream healthcare through its cutting-edge research and innovations in bioinformatics, scientific literature analysis, and clinical insights based on whole genome sequencing (WGS).

A human body contains around 3 billion pairs of genes. But the function of every gene is still not known. Genome sequencing links genes to their function and 23Strands is hoping to unlock those details to revolutionise healthcare industry and how medical treatment is delivered. 

The Sydney startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) to whole genome sequencing to deliver personalised medical treatments, and has established collaborations with a range of prominent medical research partners.

The AI-driven technologies have the potential to revolutionise disease diagnosis, drug discovery, therapeutic interventions, clinical decision support systems, and automated clinical reporting. 

CEO Mark Grosser said 23Strands is making significant inroads using AI and genome sequencing in clinical, research and industrial settings.

“We are proud to expand our university collaboration with UNSW since being one of 10 companies to go through the UNSW Health10X accelerator in 2020,” he said

“This program will complement the amazing work we are doing with others, such as Professor Jie Lu and her team at the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute and UTS, and we are keen on applying AI to important health challenges, such as rare childhood diseases.”

The projects 23Strands is working on include the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute to develop a new method for early heart disease identification and treatment to prevent heart attacks. They received a $1 million grant to measure genetic and lifestyle markers, and the startup will also deliver a digital health data platform combining a patient’s health data from multiple sources. 

Indigenous Australians are also a focus in a nationwide collaboration between industry, researchers, Indigenous community health organisations, and genetic experts, to develop genomic research and resources to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, backed by a $5 million Synergy grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council

Meanwhile, 23Strands is a key commercial partner in the project led by CAD Frontiers‘ Professor Gemma Figtree, which aims to prevent heart attacks by discovering and implementing new blood biomarkers that identify silent coronary artery disease (CAD), as well as new drugs that target an individual’s CAD susceptibility and stop disease growth. 

And national science body CSIRO chose 23Strands as an industry partner to develop AI-driven medical technologies to support patients, clinicians and the healthcare system.