3billion to launch rare disease screening service early next year

Yesterday healthcare accelerator Digital Healthcare Partners announced that it would be providing seed funding for 3billion, a Korean startup specializing in rare disease screening through human genome sequencing.

3billion is a spin-off of Macrogen, an international leader in DNA sequencing, and is developing a rare disease screening service that will check for roughly 4000 rare diseases with one simple test. Using next generation sequencing and bioinformatics technology, the clinical screening will be able to check for rare genetic conditions that take years to diagnose in current clinical settings. The company aims to provide undiagnosed patients with the hope of definitive diagnosis and possible treatments.

“By screening for thousands of rare genetic diseases at once, we offer great value to undiagnosed patients who cannot receive a definite diagnosis,” says CEO Changwon Keum. “Long term, our goal is to create a genome platform and service to help researchers develop new treatments for patients. ”

3billion co-founders Sehwan Kim, Changwon Keum(CEO), and DH Park.

The company is looking to the US, Europe and Middle East as its primary markets, with plans to get test results to customers within 2-3 weeks at a cost of around USD $2000. With other screening firms only covering 100-200 types of illness in their tests, it’s hoped that 3billion’s service, set to launch in January 2017, will prove competitive.

The recent investment is not the only support from Digital Healthcare Partners, who will also help 3billion create a business model, develop services and make sure its service meets regulations by consulting with medical professionals. 3billion is the first company to be part of the new accelerator which is made up of doctors and other healthcare industry experts.

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