Genomenon, Brio Device Score $400K from U-M’s Biomedical Seed Fund

The University of Michigan’s Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund today announced inaugural investments in Genomenon and Brio Device, two biotech startups spun out of the university.

Genomenon, a company developing diagnostics and discovery software to automate the organization of genomic sequencing data, received $250,000. Genomenon was a finalist at Detroit’s Google Demo Day pitch contest earlier this year as well as in 2015, and the company also won the $100,000 runner-up prize at last year’s Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. In April, Genomenon CEO Mark Kiel told Xconomy that there is tons of publicly available of genomic data without a fast way to organize it for research and clinical purposes—a significant challenge in the industry.

“The first genome to be sequenced took 10 years and $3 billion to do,” Kiel said. “Now, the technology has progressed to the point that we can do it in a day for $1,000. The challenge is that the improvements in the technology have not been matched by improvements in analytics.”

Brio Device, founded by a team of women, produces commercialized airway devices for endotracheal intubation. The Monroe-Brown Seed Fund awarded Brio $150,000 to expand staff and help launch its products as soon as next spring. The funding follows an SBIR grant extension. Last year, Brio scored $150,000 from Quantum Medical Concepts, a fund backed by the Michigan State Medical Society.

The Monroe-Brown Seed Fund invests in startups with U-M licensed intellectual property working in therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, or health IT. The funding is intended to bridge the gap between U-M’s translational programs and venture backing. The fund was established last April with support from the Monroe-Brown Foundation.

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