Congenica

Company History

Congenica was founded in 2012 by Dr Tom Weaver, Dr Richard Durbin, Dr Matthew Hurles, Dr Nick Lench and Professor Phil Beales as a spin-out company from the Sanger Institute.

Sapientia™, the genome interpretation software developed by Congenica, was created based on the Decipher software initially developed for the ground-breaking and large-scale research project; Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD). The DDD project, based at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge, used whole exome sequence data and combined it with phenotypic data to facilitate a diagnosis for rare diseases, that had previously gone undiagnosed for many years. Congenica has further invested in the development of the software and this is now being used by hospitals and clinics in the UK and globally.

Congenica, currently based in the BioData Innovation Centre, was initially housed on the campus in portacabins, and quickly grew in size as a result of receiving a prestigious SBRI Innovation award followed by Series A Financing with investment from CIC Innovation Capital and Amadeus Capital. The investment was used to enhance the product further to support its use in the 100,000 Genomes Project with Genomics England. Congenica started to look for bigger premises to house a growing team including a new customer support team, alongside clinical science, bioinformatics, software development and sales and marketing teams.

Congenica was delighted to be able to stay on Campus and moved into the BIC in 2016. Being based at the Wellcome Genome Campus has generated several benefits, but especially being co-located with the EMBL-EBI European Bioinformatics Institute and the Sanger Institute which houses Dr. Matthew Hurles and Dr. Richard Durbin has enabled important industry collaborations and made recruitment more effective, due to the attractive surroundings and the reputation of the Campus for world-leading science.

In addition, there is great benefit in being near the Conference Centre which hosts several genomics conferences, bringing potential global customers directly to the Campus.

Congenica Executive Team

About Sapientia™

Congenica’s genome interpretation software platform, Sapientia™, is used by clinicians and researchers across the world for clinical diagnosis, prognosis, and research. Many of the UK Regional Genetics Centres are using Sapientia as a decision support platform, in addition to clinical laboratories in other countries. It is also being leveraged by several prolific research projects, including the UK 100K Genomes Project, as well as by Pharmaceutical companies.

Sapientia has many other applications to support the advancement of personalised medicine. For example, its use in discovering novel drug targets and biomarkers. This makes the product an attractive solution for pharmaceutical companies, such as UCB Pharma, who use the Sapientia knowledge base to analyse and interpret NGS data in the correct biological context and in a manner, that allows informed decisions on relevant drug target mechanisms to pursue.

Impact on Patients and the NHS

The work done at Congenica is already impacting patients in the UK and beyond.

Watch this: Congenica and Genomic Medicine Video– Interview with Professor Graeme Black, Strategic Director of the Manchester Centre of Genomic Medicine.
Read one example of how Sapientia has had a very real impact on the lives of one patient and his family. The Human Impact of Advances in Genetic Diagnoses: The Tolman’s Story.

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