IndyGeneUS AI said Wednesday that it has reached a deal to acquire EncrypGen, creator of a proprietary cryptocurrency and marketplace for the sale and exchange of deidentified genetic data. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close early next year, were not disclosed.
Coral Springs, Florida-based EncrypGen said that more than 7,000 people are on its platform, where individuals can earn passive revenue from the sale of their personal genetic information to researchers. The acquisition gives IndyGeneUS AI a mechanism for compensating people who have their genomes processed by the company, which produces and applies artificial intelligence to genomic data.
"The founders of EncrypGen, David Koepsell and Vanessa Gonzalez, made this possible through their 'Gene-Chain,' or digital marketplace that solves two problems: it provides scientists the genomic data they need to conduct research, while also allowing individuals to generate revenue when they share their data," Yusuf Henriquez, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based IndyGeneUS AI, said in a statement.
"As a bioethicist, I was inspired to create EncrypGen by cases like Henrietta Lacks in order to help ensure equity and justice in genomic data science," said Koepsell, who will remain with the company as an advisor for bioethics and product development and integration. "EncrypGen will now fully realize this founding goal through this acquisition."
IndyGeneUS AI last week announced a $1.5 million seed investment round.
A related company to IndyGeneUS AI, simply called IndyGeneUS, is working with HelaPlex to sequence thousands of genomes in Africa and in the African diaspora as they build a genomic repository they hope will lead to pharmaceuticals and biologics that are less Eurocentric than current offerings.