LAS VEGAS, NEV. (Aug. 5, 2020) — The International Innovation Center @ Vegas ([email protected]), a center for established and emerging tech companies developing smart technologies, announces a new tenant: Heligenics, Inc., a company founded to improve drug development, optimize clinical trial design and discover new diagnostics.
The city of Las Vegas approved today a lease with Heligenics for 1,300 square feet at [email protected]’ satellite location at 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North (former Library). The [email protected] at 300 S. 4th Street, which opened in September 2019, is fully occupied with ten tenants, prompting the city to expand its capacity via the satellite location. The Center was established to attract and accommodate companies whose products support city priorities, including workforce development, smart technology, at-risk populations, neighborhood development and public safety.
Heligenics’ key technology, the GigaAssay, was invented in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Schiller, Director of the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Heligenics comprehensively measures the functional significance of mutations in the human genome and has exclusive rights to the patent-pending GigaAssay technology.
In drug discovery and development, many drug candidates fail in clinical trials due to natural germline human variation in the target protein or pathway. Heligenics enables conversion of generic drugs into targeted precision medicines via a genetically stratified clinical trial. For diagnostic companies, Heligenics can provide the functional significance of previously unknown variants in cancer genes (called Variants of Unknown Significance) in addition to the effect of mutations in key disease gene promoter regions, enabling genetic biomarker discovery for novel genetic tests.
“We are excited to have Heligenics as a tenant at our Innovation Center’s satellite location,” said Bill Arent, director of the city of Las Vegas Economic and Urban Development department. “Heligenics is an important participant in the development of biotechnology-related companies in the greater Las Vegas region.”
In 2015, Heligenics received a $2.5 million grant from the State of Nevada Knowledge Fund competition funded the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine. The company recently expanded its staff to include
Dale Yuzuki as Chief Commercial Officer; Lancer Brown as Sr. Molecular Biologist; and Trisha Gulati as Bioinformatics Scientist.