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Mass customization and personalization news
2005-03-03 - Boulder, CO, USA: Sciona, Inc., an international privately held biotechnology company that specializes in the area of genetic personalization, has successfully completed its second closing of the company's third round of financing at $8.2 million. Burrill and Company led the round, which also included investors Prelude Trust, BASF Venture Capital Gmbh and Bioventures, Inc.
"This is another important milestone for our company and further validates our position as a leader in this new and growing area of nutrition genetics," said Jim Bruce, president and CEO of Sciona. "We are pleased to have such a strong set of investors. With their backing, we will finalize the move of our headquarters from the U.K. to Boulder, Colo., fund R&D for outcome validation studies, and proceed with market testing and market rollout."
Sciona develops DNA screens for common gene variants that affect an individual's response to food, medications and the environment. These genetic screens serve as the basis for providing personalized, science-based health and lifestyle advice to consumers and can help companies customize personal care and nutrition products. Sciona's field of genetic personalization is a rapidly growing discipline aimed at optimal health by creating products and services tailored to an individual's genetic makeup.
"We are very pleased with the progress that Sciona has made since our initial investment, said Gregg Wurster, senior associate, Burrill and Company. "The management team has done an excellent job of continuing to build the business amidst relocation to Boulder and the completion of fundraising. We are pleased that Bioventures joined our syndicate and look forward to working with Sciona's management team to build the world's leading consumer genomics company."
Sciona has developed an understanding of the relationship between an individual's genetic variation to lifestyle factors and how an individual's lifestyle can be altered by appropriate intervention strategies (i.e. response to diet, exercise, and other environmental factors). Sciona also developed a unique and critically important "consumer friendly" vehicle to deliver the information. The Cellf(TM) genetic screen gives consumers nutritional guidelines - based on individual genetic profiles - to empower individuals to make better health decisions specific to their individual genetic makeup. The Cellf kit includes genetic information on the following health conditions: insulin sensitivity, B-vitamin metabolism, detoxification, heart and bone health, antioxidant metabolism and inflammation.
In addition to its genetic personalization work, Sciona provides research capabilities for large food, nutritional supplement and functional food companies interested in analyzing particular product ingredients as they relate to the normal genetic variations found in healthy individuals. This type of research makes it possible to greatly increase product effectiveness by introducing unparalleled product personalization.