Irish unicorn LetsGetChecked acquires US genomics business

29 Mar 2022

Image: © Cavan/Stock.adobe.com

LetsGetChecked will expand its at-home testing services to include genome sequencing.

Irish health-tech company LetsGetChecked has announced the acquisition of Veritas Genetics and Veritas Intercontinental.

The Veritas brands share a platform for the interpretation of genetic information from a single gene to the whole genome, providing users with a comprehensive genetic profile and clinical report.

Future Human

This acquisition will add whole genome sequencing to LetsGetChecked’s suite of at-home medical tests.

Veritas’s services also include tests such as cancer screening, carrier screening, maternal-foetal testing and pharmacogenomics (understanding how genetics might inform a patient’s response to medication).

“Through these acquisitions, LetsGetChecked will leverage the power of whole genome sequencing to launch a full life cycle of personalised healthcare, delivering the most comprehensive health testing and care solution on the market,” said Peter Foley, founder and CEO of LetsGetChecked.

“By integrating Veritas Genetics’ and Veritas Intercontinental’s capabilities with LetsGetChecked’s scalable diagnostic and virtual care infrastructure, we are able to turn comprehensive genetic insights into practical recommendations and lifestyle changes, guided by clinical experts.”

Mirza Cifric, CEO of Veritas Genetics, said the introduction of genetic sequencing to LetsGetChecked’s services “will bring forth a very powerful and differentiated offering to the market”.

‘These acquisitions will change the future of personalised healthcare as we know it’
– DR GEORGE CHURCH

Veritas Genetics was founded in 2014 by genomics researcher Dr George Church. It set out to make whole genome sequencing more affordable. Four years later, Veritas Intercontinental was founded as a spin-off brand for the business outside of the US.

“I expect these acquisitions will change the future of personalised healthcare as we know it,” said Church.

Veritas Intercontinental CEO and co-founder Javier de Echevarría said the LetsGetChecked acquisition will lead to a combined “full genetic and healthcare services portfolio, ranging from prenatal screening to predictive medicine”.

Co-headquartered in Dublin and New York, LetsGetChecked was founded in 2015 to provide at-home diagnostic testing. Today, its end-to-end business model covers manufacturing, logistics, lab analysis as well as physician support and prescription fulfilment.

During the pandemic, LetsGetChecked was quick to pivot to providing Covid-19 testing kits. To date, the start-up has delivered almost 3m tests with customers in most EU countries as well as the US and UK.

It reached unicorn status last year following a $150m funding round.

In Ireland, a new citizens’ jury is being formed to examine the benefits and challenges of genomics research. Once selected, 25 jury members will meet for a number of sittings in June.

“The role of genetics pervades throughout the healthcare system now, but we haven’t really kept up to date with that so we don’t really have a good integrated Irish approach towards both the benefits of genomics and also the potential concerns and risks that might arise,” Prof Orla Hardiman recently told SiliconRepublic.com.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com