Genomics startup Helix cuts jobs, shutters 2 offices

Andrea Park - Print  | 

Helix, a direct-to-consumer DNA sequencing startup based in San Carlos, Calif., is closing two of its four offices and has cut an undisclosed number of jobs, co-founder Justin Kao confirmed to Bloomberg this week.

"Because we are realigning our business to focus on population health, we are also refocusing our team in support of this goal," Mr. Kao said in an emailed statement. "Some of those reductions happened voluntarily ahead of our strategic announcement, as team members looked for long-term opportunities that were better aligned with their experience and interest."

While Helix's San Carlos and San Diego outposts will remain open, its San Francisco and Denver offices will shutter. News of the company's restructuring comes just weeks after Helix announced it was shifting its strategy away from expanding its "app store for DNA" and focusing instead on building partnerships with healthcare providers.

Helix has raised $300 million in funding since its 2015 founding. In that time, it has built partnerships with the Mayo Clinic, National Geographic, Mount Sinai and the statewide Healthy Nevada Project. Genome sequencing giant Illumina ended its years-long relationship with Helix in late April, ahead of the news of the startup's shift in focus.

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