Nebula Founder and Renowned Harvard Scientist, George Church, Ph.D., to Spearhead ProPhase Labs New Scientific Advisory Board
AUGUST 11, 2021 8:30AM EDT
GARDEN CITY, NY, Aug. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ProPhase Labs, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRPH) (“ProPhase” or the “Company”), a diversified medical science and technology company, today announces the acquisition of Nebula Genomics, a privately-owned personal genomics company. The Company’s recently formed subsidiary, ProPhase Precision Medicine, Inc., completed the acquisition for approximately $14.6 million in a combination of ProPhase Labs common stock and cash. The Company intends to integrate Nebula’s whole genome sequencing services with the robust clinical diagnostic testing services already offered at ProPhase’s CLIA-certified molecular testing laboratories. ThinkEquity, a division of Fordham Financial Management, Inc. acted as advisor to ProPhase.
“We believe the future of medicine is in precision, personalized and tailored therapies that are based on each patient’s individual genetic makeup,” said Ted Karkus, ProPhase’s Chief Executive Officer. “The acquisition of Nebula fits our plan to better enable individuals who seek a better understanding of their predisposition to genetic-based diseases and guidance in the diagnosis of existing, genetically influenced, conditions. A deeper understanding of a person’s genetic makeup also enhances the ability to optimize lifestyle, therapeutic and medical care decisions by helping to select and optimize personalized courses of conduct and treatments. Nebula is on the cutting edge of DNA sequencing technology and, combined with our molecular laboratory capabilities, we believe that we will be able to make personal genome sequencing more accessible at a lower cost, while providing our customers with important and comprehensive genetic insights.”
Nebula Genomics currently provides consumers access to affordable and secure whole genome sequencing via its online portal. Nebula’s solution is powered by the innovations of George Church, Ph.D. Dr. Church has pioneered the development of multiple DNA sequencing methods, including molecular multiplexing approaches that enable next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) as well as nanopore sequencing. Nebula has been implementing large-scale human genome sequencing to advance the understanding of the causes of diseases and lay the foundation for personalized therapies of the future. These include targeted gene therapies that aim to ameliorate or cure genetic diseases.
Ted Karkus, CEO of ProPhase, stated: “Dr. Church is a renowned and respected scientist. His willingness to serve as the founding member of ProPhase Precision Medicine’s Scientific Advisory Board will help enable us to recruit and build a world-class Scientific Advisory Board as well as assist the Company in targeting additional synergistic acquisitions.” In connection with the acquisition, Dr. Church, as well as leading venture capital investors have elected to convert their prior investments in Nebula into ProPhase Labs’ common stock at the current market price, which shares will be subject to a six-month holding period under Rule 144 of the Securities Act.
Nebula Genomics’ technology decodes close to 100% of a person’s DNA, generating over 100 gigabytes of data. This enables Nebula to provide its users with deep ancestry reports based on Y chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA with a high level of accuracy. Nebula’s whole genome sequencing DNA test also decodes all ~20,000 genes in the human genome, which to the best of our knowledge exceeds the amount of information offered by other widely available services.
The Nebula DNA test can identify rare genetic mutations, and is diagnostics-ready, providing valuable information to healthcare providers in a HIPPA-compliant format. Nebula Genomics was the first company to bring the cost of sequencing a human genome below $300 (the cost of the first human genome sequencing was approximately $3 billion) and subsequently became one of the largest online direct-to-consumer whole genome sequencing companies. Nebula Genomics now seeks to enter the diagnostic genetic testing market and use its large trove of high-quality whole genome sequencing data to conduct drug discovery research.
ProPhase’s goal is for much of this comprehensive DNA testing to be conducted in the Company’s CLIA-certified labs. This would result in significantly faster turnaround times at even further reduced cost to the users, which could significantly increase demand and margins. In addition, for the last 25 years, the Company has supplied dietary supplements to 40,000+ retail stores, including WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, and others. The Company will seek to leverage this network and infrastructure to further expand direct-to-consumer and big-box retail distribution of Nebula’s whole genome sequencing services.
Dr. George Church, an original investor and co-founder at Nebula Genomics, stated, “Nebula Genomics is the culmination of my decade-long efforts to make personal genome sequencing widely accessible. By joining ProPhase Precision Medicine, Nebula will now have access to resources that will enable us to scale exponentially. I am excited to be a long-term partner with ProPhase and have converted my initial investment in Nebula into ProPhase equity.” added Dr. Church.