SoftGenetics investment no hard sell

The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania announced its investment of $250,000 in SoftGenetics LLC, a developer of analytical software.

Lisa Espenschade
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania (LSGPA) announced in September its investment of $250,000 in SoftGenetics LLC, a developer of analytical software for genetics researchers and diagnosticians.
 
SoftGenetics will use the money to increase staffing and speed development of its MicroArray Copy Number and SNP Chip software and move it into the marketplace, says SoftGenetics VP John Fosnacht. Most analytical software on the market, he says, is made by instrumentation manufacturers and only about 85 to 90 percent accurate, which isn't adequate for clinical microarray use. "What we've done is developed new technology that starts at the beginning, meaning we look at the basic output of the microar­rays, the spots, and have devel­oped some new algorithms and technologies to create a software platform that is approximately 99 percent accurate."
 
The SoftGenetics approach, which is transferable to other applications, says Fosnacht, involves analyzing TIFF image files and presenting data to researchers in a manner that is more accurate than basing analysis on mathematical or sta­tistical manipulation, as most software does. SoftGenetics's software works with any micro­array chip, making for "a com­monality of analysis which is good for scientists because they want to have compatibility of data," says Fosnacht.
 
Validation of SoftGenetics software is important to Dr. Mel Billingsley, president and CEO of LSGPA. "Their base is really code and development of specif­ic algorithms that are unique to them," he says. "That's kind of neat. And that's been validated as well." Billingsley says LSGPA looks at companies' market oppor­tunities, unique technologies, management teams, and financial plans before investing.
 
Fosnacht believes many existing clients who use SoftGenetics prod­ucts at clinical diagnostics, biotech, and big pharma companies should be interested in the new micro­array software. Large customers include the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, and Applied Biosystems has added SoftGenetics to its Software Community Program. (see October 2006 story).
 
LSGPA makes pre-seed and seed investments in life sciences companies that work in medical devices, instrumentation and tools for drug discovery, and nanotech­nology.
 
LSGPA operates under a return model, and Billingsley says LSGPA gets to know investees well, draw­ing them into an extended fam­ily of contacts to provide various types of help, such as management advice, finding beta testing in the research community, or securing new funds.
 
"We're not a classical investor in the sense of we just want to see a return," he says. "We want to see these companies succeed in a very general way."

Lisa Espenschade

Subscribe to Newsletter
Subscribe to our eNewsletters

Stay connected with all of the latest from Drug Discovery News.

February 2023 Front Cover

Latest Issue  

• Volume 19 • Issue 2 • February 2023

February 2023

February 2023 Issue