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outcome for the shareholders of Knome; it is not. This market is highly fragmented and will likely continue to undergo consolidation. We are excited about the acquisition of the Knome software assets by Tute. We believe that Tute is well positioned to take the Knome software forward and combine it into a more attractive and more complete offering for customers.”
Tute CEO Reid Robison also declined to say how much his 16-person firm is spending for Knome, although he did say there are no post-acquisition milestones and confirmed that Tute has only raised $5.4 million in its lifetime, with nothing else in the works to help pay for the Knome acquisition.
Tute has built what Robison and former CSO David Mittelman describe as a “DNA search engine” that compares a snippet of a person’s genome to millions of other samples across a few massive databases, not just to find variations but to help doctors decide whether those variations are relevant to the person’s health. Tute’s focus is on childhood disorders and inherited diseases.
Knome does analysis work, too. Robison says Tute is particularly strong at user interface and experience—the “front end” of the system—so its reports can feed directly into electronic health records, for example. Knome has strengths in the technology under the hood, so to speak, such as the way data are compared.
Robison and Mittelman, the latter of whom is now an advisor to Tute and remains a shareholder, were particularly impressed with Knome’s ability to let users query its data with customized searches, beyond the pre-packaged panels—or sets of genes—associated with various diseases. Customization is an increasingly important function in genomic analysis, as medical research continues to untangle the complex web of genetic factors underpinning many diseases.