News Release

U of M start-up CoreBiome acquired by OraSure Technologies, Inc.


Today, the University of Minnesota announced that its 2017 start-up company CoreBiome Inc. was acquired by OraSure Technologies, Inc., a leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of point-of-care diagnostic and collection devices to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the next week.

Using University technology, CoreBiome provides analysis of microbial communities for human health, agricultural and environmental applications. The technology allows for an unprecedented level of control, reproducibility and accuracy in providing detailed information about microbial communities (microbiomes). The company combines fast, accurate genomic profiles of microbiomes with machine learning to help their customers develop breakthrough products.

"University of Minnesota researchers are on the leading edge of pursuing microbiome-based solutions, and the recent success of CoreBiome is the latest example of pushing University knowledge outside the lab to speed the arrival of solutions to challenges in human health, agriculture and the environment," said Russ Straate, associate director of the University's Venture Center, part of University Technology Commercialization. "We are pleased to see one of our startup companies acquired by OraSure, a strong market player that will take this technology to the next level of commercialization. CoreBiome is one of the 140 companies that have launched out of the University's Venture Center and is now the fourth University startup to be acquired or go public in the last 18 months."   

The technology behind CoreBiome is based on discoveries by U of M researchers Dan Knights, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and engineering in the College of Science and Engineering and the BioTechnology Institute in the College of Biological Sciences; Kenneth Beckman, Ph.D., director of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC); and Daryl Gohl, Ph.D., research and development lead of UMGC.

“There is a growing need for fast, reproducible and scalable microbiome analysis in many research fields,” said Knights, who is also CoreBiome’s CEO. “Our goal has been to accelerate discovery of microbiome-based solutions combining genomics and machine learning innovation to help customers leverage that big data and to make world-class microbiome expertise available on-demand.”

“The CoreBiome acquisition positions OraSure to become a leading, end-to-end solution provider for researchers, therapeutic and diagnostic development customers, and Direct-to-Consumer companies,” said Dr. Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., President and CEO of OraSure Technologies. “We look forward to accelerating the adoption of CoreBiome’s cutting-edge microbial genomics technology and analytics expertise into DNA Genotek’s customer network. We’re excited about the synergies that will come from combining DNA Genotek’s proprietary sampling and stabilization technology with CoreBiome’s platform across the many industries that will be impacted by the microbiome.”

Learn more about the University’s startup enterprise on the Technology Commercialization website.

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