SANTIAGO, CHILE - May 30, 2013 - Invitae Corporation announced today the establishment of a South American subsidiary, Invitae Chile SpA, and a partnership with biotechnology pioneer, Pablo Valenzuela and the Fundación Ciencia & Vida, to establish a production facility in Santiago, Chile. Dr. Valenzuela is a well-known biotechnology entrepreneur who co-founded Chiron in 1981 and the Fundacion in 1997.
The new entity is being formed to service global markets with genetic information that will inform routine medical practice and influence everyday health decisions. The Chilean facility will be a state of the art, next generation DNA sequencing facility that is a mirror image of Invitae’s CLIA laboratory in San Francisco, California. Both the U.S. and Chilean laboratories will have the capability to process tens of thousands of samples per year and can be scaled as the market grows.
As Invitae meets the demand of a global customer base, Invitae Chile will play a critical role in processing testing samples for international markets as well as directly serving the clinical markets in Central and South America. “We are excited to strengthen our partnership with Dr. Pablo Valenzuela and the Fundación Ciencia & Vida and to help further his vision of bringing Chile to the forefront of global technology and biological science innovation,” said Invitae’s Randy W. Scott. “Chile’s promising economic environment, premier workforce and world-class digital infrastructure make this an optimal partnership for Invitae as we expand our presence in the global community.”
“The partnership with Invitae is a model example of the goals for the Fundación,” said Dr. Valenzuela, cofounder and director of Fundación Ciencia & Vida. “Providing a bridge between the commercial and academic sectors in Chile and international partnering continue to be prime directives for the Fundación and we are pleased to collaborate with an innovative global company like Invitae.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Dr. Valenzuela and the Fundacion Ciencia & Vida. Our Chilean facility will focus on known, clinically relevant genetic tests that are routinely used in medical practice today,” said Invitae’s Sean George. “By aggregating large numbers of genetic tests into a single assay, our approach can effectively reduce the cost of multi-gene tests that are increasingly required to diagnose complex genetic conditions.” Invitae is currently conducting an early access program with a number of physicians and hospitals world-wide and plans to expand its commercial programs towards the end of the year with the opening of the new laboratory.
Invitae's mission is to bring comprehensive genetic testing into routine medical practice for billions of people worldwide. The company is developing clinically relevant genetic analyses that informs routine medical practice and influences everyday health decisions.
The company is pursuing a strategy over the next several years to aggregate all the world's medical genetic tests (~3,000 known Mendelian conditions) into a single assay at a lower cost than most single gene tests today. This capability is increasingly enabled by the rapid advancements in DNA sequencing technology and Invitae’s creation of the world’s most complete database of clinically-relevant genetic information. Invitae has raised $47 million from investors, including Thomas, McNerney & Partners, Genesys Capital, and Randy Scott. The company is poised to lead the way from an era of genetic scarcity to genetic abundance to significantly improve healthcare worldwide.
About Fundación Ciencia & Vida
Political and public awareness of the importance of scientific and technological innovation for Chile’s economic development has increased significantly in recent years. In this context, Fundación Ciencia & Vida, is playing a key role in researching and developing new biotechnology tools and processes that would enhance Chile´s competitive position. To accomplish this goal, Fundación acts as an interphase between the productive and academic sectors, and collaborates with scientists all over the world, both in the public and private sectors.
Founded in 1997 as a non-profit organization, Fundación has the mission of promoting the adoption and use of science-based innovations by Chilean and International companies. Fundación has specialized on building value by developing products and technologies that serve the needs of the Agriculture, Mining, Forestry, Aquaculture and Healthcare industries. It is actively building human resources capacities through the training of undergraduate and PhD students in collaboration with different local universities. It also promotes and participates in a number of global networks of scientific collaboration with local and international centers of academic excellence.
Fundación Ciencia & Vida