- Encrypgen’s Gene-Chain is way ahead of the road-map development.
- The Genome Portal & genomic testing partnership are targeting mid-Dec.
- Gene-Chain Light (GCL) app will start at $99, & be released by New Years.
- New website is about 2 weeks away. DNA token commercialized by 2018.
There are a few times in a person’s life when they feel like they’re truly part of something extraordinary or ground-breaking.
For those that have experienced this excitement, they know that it is mostly hard work, persistence, and surrounding yourself with talented people.
Enter Dr. David Koepsell, CEO and founder of EncrypGen. His company hasn’t even finished the first year of their fund raise, but that hasn’t stopped him from trailblazing a genomics path at breakneck speed. Today David gave a much-anticipated update regarding some of the developments of his Gene-Chain technology, and also fielded questions later on in his Discord channel. I’ll try my best to lay out that information here.
1. In addition to Gene-Chain customer Codigo46, there are two new companies that are very interested in purchasing Gene-Chain nodes.
Without naming any names, one is a boutique-sized testing company that has been established for a decade within the genomics field. Their Gene-Chain node would allow them to provide genomic testing results to their customers securely. This company is also on the same wave-length as EncrypGen regarding individuals owning their own genetic data. They are discussing, quite eagerly, the idea of a partnership.
The other is a small company that does DNA analysis, and also has plans to do forensic work. Again, their node would enable secure sharing of data with their customers and clients. Philosophically, they’re also completely on-board with customers owning their own genetic data.
2. EncrypGen is in closed talks with multiple genomics testing companies, and is in the last steps of finalizing a partnership. The chosen mystery company is also a member of the Global Screening Array Consortia. This partnership will allow the general public to provide their DNA to the Genome Portal, where it can then be exposed to research for a small fee paid in DNA tokens.
Dr. Koepsell is looking to work with companies that are competitive. The genomics tests will come in about the same-or-less as companies like 23andMe. That price-point can be anywhere from $99–$150 USD for tests of various kinds. Unlike the companies that produce testing that is generally not effective for medicine or research, per se, the company David is currently working with has been certified for various medical applications.
These medical applications impressed Dr. Koepsell, because the data sets they generate are not heavy, but they’re extremely useful. The chosen testing company would share costs and profits with EncrypGen. David envisions an affiliate discount as well. The preferred testing partner will be announced very soon.
“We are certain that our token-holders are a good start for populating the Gene-Chain early on, and this is something that is motivating our discussions about working with testing vendors. So, imagine you redeem some tokens from a preferred vendor discount for a test, then the vendor knows where the customer came from, and we [automatically] get their data on the Gene-Chain and give them a private key to their data…people who have already been tested can of course upload their data.”
3. EncrypGen is developing multiple ways for individuals to enter the Gene-Chain ecosystem. David announced that come Christmas time, there will be a Gene-Chain Light app that will allow customers worldwide to search for, request, and buy genomic data using the native DNA tokens.
The light app is expected to debut at $99, and will allow all sorts of students, bio-hackers, bioinformaticians, entrepreneurs, and the biology hobbyist world to dream up novel applications and build out the ecosystem. This will allow for an affordable on-ramp to EncrypGen’s Genome Portal for a lot less than purchasing a commercial Gene-Chain node, and the GCL app will give them access to interact with data they would otherwise never be able to touch.
If a university wanted to access new sets of data without uploading their own, they would get the GCL app and search for relevant data sets, and purchase the metadata for these sets. It’s that easy. With this type of ease of use, the GCL app will serve as a great entry into the full product.
4. Dr. Koepsell and team continue to meet with VCs, and this effort will continue into different venues. “They’ve become very excited by the acceleration of the consumer product, which surprises us, because usually B2B is the favored model.”
5. Recently installed was nothing less than the Nvidia DGX-1 Artificial Intelligence super-computer that hooks up to the Gene-Chain and its huge stores of data. It sounds like over-kill, but the average length of human DNA stretched out is approximately 70 return-trips to the sun.
“Regarding the super-computer, we can now train it to index incoming data of various formats, so that researchers can find what they need. It is much faster and better at machine learning and deep learning than the computers that we were accessing previously.”
“We expect that the more data that comes in of various forms, the better the system will get at recognizing common variants and genes. Most existing systems use off-the-shelf parsing, but with something like an SNP data set vs. exome or sequence data, there is a real opportunity for mismatch.”
6. Why limit yourself to just the human species? What if grandma wants to save the DNA from her favorite kitten? Every species’ DNA will be available for upload and retrieval on the Gene-Chain.
EncrypGen is going to include the ability to upload the DNA of other species as well. You want to upload your dog’s DNA? No problem! There’s no reason whatsoever for EncrypGen to limit data sets to just one species. Also, the microbiome, disease, or pathogen DNA is also very valuable for research.
It’s interesting to note that if you’ve got a rare condition or set of metadata, you could package that up and sell it on the Gene-Chain. With the auction style user-interface of the Gene-Chain, this means that an individual can set the bid price when they publish their data, and see if requesters are interested. Through the Genome Portal that is in development, providers of DNA will be able to see when others pay for access with the DNA token.
7. One of the key barriers to entry for EncrypGen’s Genome Portal is acquiring DNA tokens using traditional currency. This challenge has already been addressed, and is ready. This is an important point, because researchers, students, and companies need maximum convenience.
EncrypGen will eventually plant a piece of code from an exchange into their Genome Portal that will allow customers to easily purchase DNA tokens with regular forms of money. It’s Dr. Koepsell’s hope as well, that these customers might learn a bit about the cryptocurrency space in the meantime.
David and his 12-member team are incredibly busy, and are way ahead of their scheduled road-map.
The target date for completion of the Public Genome Portal and the announcement of a partnership with a genomics testing company is mid-December. The target date for the Gene-Chain Light (GCL) app is Christmas or New Years. This means the DNA token will be commercialized, and purchased worldwide for its intended use-cases within the same year they crowdfunded!
It should also be noted that the 90s-style website will be a thing of the past in just a couple more weeks. I’m unsure if there’ll be a grieving period, though.
Hang on to your genes, because the pace of development for EncrypGen is going to be one heck of a ride.