Huntington-based Envisagenics Inc., a spinoff company from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has been awarded a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the development of software designed to help drugmakers better analyze genomic data.
Announced Thursday, the grant funding gives Envisagenics additional resources to make the back end programming of its software product, SpliceCore, more robust and capable of processing large amounts of data more quickly. The grant, which comes from NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences, also calls for a collaboration with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.
The funding has also allowed the company to hire its first employee.
"Right now we do have the software developed, but we need to make it faster and more robust," said Maria Luisa Pineda, chief executive of Envisagenics. "In order to scale it we need to first work on the back end engineering."
The announcement comes just weeks after Envisagenics had received $100,000 in grant and investment funding from Accelerate Long Island, a promoter of tech growth on the Island, and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund, a seed fund for startups.
Founded in 2013 by Pineda and Martin Akerman, the company's chief technology officer, Envisagenics is a bioinformatics company, meaning it works at the intersection of biology and computer science. Using proprietary algorithms based on earlier research done by Akerman at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, the company's SpliceCore software aims to be a vital tool for pharmaceutical researchers.
SpliceCore helps drugmakers quantify, analyze and interpret big data taken from the human genome. That information can be used to select the most appropriate drug candidates for combating certain diseases with genetic roots.
Envisagenics operates out of LaunchPad Huntington, a co-working space for startups.