June 9, 2022


Fresh Out of Stealth: Ultima Genomics Brings The $100 Genome To The Marketplace

We’re excited to welcome Ultima Genomics out of stealth after six years of quietly building a proprietary, high-quality NGS DNA sequencing platform from the ground up and raising $600 million from top investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, and Playground Global, which co-led the company’s Series A funding in 2017.

Ultima Genomics has developed a novel DNA sequencer that offers 50x lower price per genome and 7x faster sequencing compared to the legacy incumbent technology that currently holds a near-monopoly on the $20 billion sequencing market. The company has accomplished this all while maintaining or exceeding the gold standard of sequencing quality as demonstrated by the initial batch of technical papers published by industry KOLs at leading genomics centers and industry partners as part of Ultima’s recent de-stealth.

We anticipate the reduction in cost and improvements in scaled efficiency will help to establish DNA sequencing as the go-to medical diagnostic and drug development tool, radically expanding the sequencing market and ushering in an age of truly personalized medicine.

Outsized Impact

Genomic information is still far too costly and difficult to access for many patients. Ultima’s proprietary DNA sequencing method is significantly faster and lower cost than the current standard on the market, while maintaining or improving upon requisite high accuracy and sufficiently long read length.

Some of the biggest benefactors of this technology will be medical practitioners, patients, and researchers, who will be able to analyze data for large populations and find common traits, enabling greater drug discovery, personalized medicine, early cancer detection, improved vaccines, and more.

Ultima Genomics is employing a number of approaches and methods used in semiconductor manufacturing to expand the scale of sequencing possible while simultaneously lowering costs.

Empowering Precision Medicine

We’re at the beginning of a revolution in healthcare. There is an accelerating opportunity around genome sequencing and its applications. The falling cost of genome sequencing will have a major impact on the way we think about medicine. Sequencing a single human genome went from costing an estimated $2.7 billion for the Human Genome Project’s first efforts two decades ago to about $1,000 today as offered by the legacy incumbent.

Ultima is entering the market with a human genome priced at $100, with a near-term roadmap to lower the cost significantly. In the next few decades, it’s easy to imagine that when you go for your annual checkup, you’ll have your full human genome sequenced, which will be used to accurately diagnose disease and develop more personalized treatment to the patients while simultaneously generating a large amount of longitudinal data that will provide more accurate insights into the genomic signatures of health and disease.

Unleashing The Power of Genomics at Scale

Playground Global remains committed to meeting some of the world’s toughest challenges head-on by investing in some of the best ideas and people. We are proud to join Ultima in the development of this revolutionary technology and can’t wait to see what’s in store as they further democratize genome sequencing. Learn more at www.ultimagenomics.com.