uBiome was founded in October 2012 by Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte, two scientists from the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences. It was a privately held, citizen science startup that sequences the human microbiome. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2019, later ceasing all operations and liquidating assets.
The company's commercial products include:
- SmartGut - a sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn's Disease, and ulcerative colitis. The test detect both beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms associated with these gut conditions.
- SmartJane - a sequencing based women's health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identified four common STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and mycoplasma genitalium), and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions. However, it does not screen for cancer and is not intended to replace traditional Pap smears or well woman visits.
- SmartFlu - an upper respiratory test that analyzes nasal microbiome when a person experiences cold or flu symptoms. It detects bacteria and viruses associated with health conditions such as, the flu, common cold, and bacterial infections. This product is available by invite-only as of February 2019.
- Explorer - a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness.
In September 2018, uBiome announced that it will be supporting drug-discovery efforts using its technology at a new Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters. It also raised $83 million in a Series C round of funding.
Investigation due to billing practices.
uBiome is jumping into therapeutics with a healthy $83 million in Series C financing
uBiome: What we know about microbiome startup, FBI raid, bankruptcy
Erin Brodwin, Lydia Ramsey and Emma Court
September 5, 2019
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- CompanyA company, abbreviated as "Co." within a company name, is a legal entity made up of an association of people, be they natural, legal, or a mixture of both, for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise.
- BiotechnologyBiotechnology can refer to the application of science and technology to living organisms or the use of living organisms, their parts, products or models thereof to solve a problem, produce knowledge or produce goods and services. Biotechnology may involve the alteration of living or non-living materials.
- Microbiome and gut healthThe field of health as it relates to Gut microbiota - the microorganisms inside the human microbiome, including bacteria and archaea that live in the digestive tracts of humans.
- MicrobiotaBiome of microbes
- GenomicsThe study of genomes. A genome is the full set of genetic material from an organism. Genomics is an area of research that is concerned with all genes and other functional DNA elements within an organism and how they control the development and life of that organism.
- Y CombinatorY Combinator (also known as YC) is a US-based seed accelerator, which was started in March 2005.
- Sequence databaseType of biological database composed of a collection of computerized nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences, or other polymer sequences