Halifax-based sports genetic company Athletigen Technologies Inc., after raising a US$1.55 million seed round in January led by Exponential Partners, has received a C$200,000 loan from the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The Athletigen Performance Platform is an interface that can help sports professionals refine their training regimen by presenting a sports genetics analysis for each athlete, helping them to adjust their program accordingly.
According to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Athletigen plans to use the loan to hire more specialists from the disciplines of genomics, physiology, data science, technology and communications.
Exponential Partners, an Orange County VC fund focused on consumer health and human performance technologies, was joined in the January round by previously existing strategic investors Dr. Ray Muzyka, Medical Doctor, co-founder of BioWare and CEO of Threshold Impact, a VC fund, and Content Bloom, a digital agency.
Muzyka, who sits on Athletigen’s board as a result of the investment, is best-known for co-founding video game developer BioWare in 1995 before selling it to gaming company Electronic Arts.
In October, Athletigen announced a partnership with Santa Clara, California’s Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX), to integrate their genotyping platform for DNA analysis with Athletigen’s platform.
Athletigen’s DNA microarray analyzes about 850,000 variants related to human performance in a swab of saliva, the data from which is fed into Athletigen’s proprietary bioinformatic algorithm which then provides an actionable report for optimizing a user’s routine through their online profile.
Athletigen’s proprietary platform, currently at the closed beta testing stage, is being used by about 100 professional athletes, including several Olympians, and is built on a database of genetic indicators compiled from nearly 20 years of sports genetics research, analyzing an athlete’s saliva and then reporting on their genetic markers relating to traits such as strength, endurance, metabolism, injury susceptibility, nutrition and sports psychology.
Athletes, coaches, trainers, and health professionals can then use the data to help tailor a regimen to an athlete’s individual needs.
Founded in 2014 by CEO Jeremy Koenig, a former track athlete at Dalhousie University where he earned a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology, Athletigen came through the Volta Labs incubator, and now employs 25 people.
Athletigen has been endorsed by NHL player and Halifax native Brad Marchand, as well Heather Hamilton, a former pole vaulter who now works for Athletigen.
In partnership with athlete and coach training organization Altis, Athletigen supported Olympic and Paralympic athletes for the Rio 2016 games, include American sprinter Muna Lee, Samoan sprinter Jeremy Dodson, and Canadian sprinter Akeem Haynes, along with Irish pole vaulter Tori Pena and American Paralympic sprinter and long jumper Lacey Henderson.
Last October, Athletigen forged a global partnership with Santa Clara, California’s Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX) to use its Affymetrix Axiom genotyping platform for DNA analysis.
In June, Athletigen announced a partnership with Utah’s Skullcandy (NASDAQ:SKUL), and its Human Potential Lab, the mission of which is to unlock human potential through music, and individualized performance training company Athletic Republic.
In March, Baylor University’s Department of Athletic Performance in Texas revealed that it would be using Athletigen’s platform to develop individualized training programs based on a player’s genetic information.