The launch of the first marketplace for DNA-powered Apps: Helix

Helix team

In 2003, the human genome was sequenced for the first time, spurring a colossal step-change in the world of genomics. 12 years later, the idea for a personal genomics platform was born. Today, for the first time, the Helix marketplace of DNA-powered apps designed to help people live healthier, happier, and stronger, is a reality on helix.com.

All of this was enabled by two important factors that lead to this inflection point in the market.

1) The work of pioneering companies like Illumina, and Jay Flatley in particular, who have removed the technological hurdles and thrown open the doors of genetics to incredible possibilities.

2) The cost of sequencing has dropped dramatically which has opened a market that was previously inaccessible, narrowly focused, and limited to consumer experience.

Today we’re unveiling the first marketplace for DNA-powered products that offer insights on ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health, and nutrition. At Helix, we believe that each person has the right to access their own genomic information and learn how it can be leveraged to help them make decisions everyday. Our vision is that this marketplace of DNA-powered products will help you uncover insights that can help you and your family live healthier, happier, and stronger.

The Helix marketplace makes this possible by providing an open platform for emerging and established brands who can now build or enhance their products with DNA sequenced at our secure state-of-the-art CLIA- and CAP-accredited lab. Helix uses next-generation sequencing to read your DNA, which unlocks 100X more data than other products. Where most companies do single tests, Helix stores and protects your DNA information so you can access and share it with any partner on the Helix marketplace — And the best part is you only need to provide a saliva sample and get your DNA sequenced once to unlock a variety of DNA-powered products on the Helix marketplace. It’s that easy (and that awesome).

We take care of the infrastructure so our partners don’t have to — no assay validation, supply chain management, regulatory hurdles, sample collection. Instead, they can focus on software design. By doing this, we believe we’re opening up the market to consumer brands and nimble developers alike, which will in turn lead to amazing innovations in this burgeoning field.

And we evaluate the scientific content of our partner products to ensure that the underlying genomic associations are well supported in peer-reviewed scientific literature with a focus on providing safe, accurate, and high quality insights.

We believe we are at the very beginning of this era, where DNA information becomes easy to access and embedded in everyday products that individuals care about. Our understanding of how DNA impacts health and wellness is advancing rapidly, and soon these DNA-powered insights will be central to how you live and the decisions you make, from the moment you wake up until the minute you go to sleep.

We’re at an inflection point of technology and science, where the combination of more easily accessible phenotype and genotype data is going to rapidly change our understanding of how genes and environment influence each other and impact our lives.

To bring this brand to life for the first time, we’ve developed a campaign that highlights exactly this: the empowering notion that DNA can be for everyday life. We wanted to create a campaign that would truly represent and announce Helix as something entirely different and revolutionary.

It is also important to us to meet our customers where they are today and relative to what they’re passionate about — their health (whether that’s risk of disease, weight loss), their family (ancestry, family planning), or have more fun with it, like designing a scarf for your specific DNA code.

And now you too can crack your code at helix.com, with products available in our marketplace for ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health, and nutrition insights.

I especially want to thank the Helix co-founders, Dr. James Lu, Justin Kao, and Scott Burke. These three came together at Illumina to realize a vision — to empower every person to enhance their life through DNA. With the groundwork laid by Jay Flatley, it was finally possible for a platform to be built, and today Helix would not be possible without the tireless efforts of these founders to bring it to life.

I’d also like to extend a huge thank you to the rest of the Helix team, which is made up of the very best in Next-Generation Sequencing and bioinformatics, applied genomics, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, software and genetic engineering, software and web product development, consumer marketing and business. These teams are led by industry leaders who are dedicated to empowering people through the responsible and safe use of DNA-powered insights. In turn, this is ushering in a wave of innovation and discovery that has the potential to rival any of the great periods of advance in human history.

The Helix marketplace will offer over 20 products and services from our partners:

  • Admera Health
  • Azumio
  • DNAFit
  • Dot One
  • EverlyWell
  • Exploragen
  • Genome Medical
  • Insitome
  • Lose It!
  • National Geographic
  • Sema4
  • Vinome

Helix is also partnered with the following organizations on products and services coming soon:

  • Geisinger
  • HumanCode
  • Intelliseq
  • Invitae
  • Kindara
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Precise.ly
  • WellnessFX

To start your DNA discovery journey, visit helix.com/shop.

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