The Silicon Review
Offering one workspace for clinical labs to enable personalized medicine
PierianDx enables clinical labs to deliver patient-specific diagnosis and treatments based on an individual’s DNA. In active use since 2011 by Washington University in St. Louis, PierianDx’s proprietary Clinical Genomicist Workspace (CGW) software, knowledgebase, and workflow management tools give clinical labs an end-to-end solution for managing clinical Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) processes. The company is located in St. Louis, with development offices in Utah and India.
The Birth of PierianDx
In 2011, no sophisticated solution existed for clinical labs to easily and seamlessly sequence, analyze, interpret and report on a patient’s genes and their implications for diagnosis and individualized therapy. In order to support Washington University’s personalized medicine initiatives,a multi-disciplinary team of genomicists, pathologists, clinicians and bioinformatics experts built an NGS workflow solution called the Clinical Genomicist Workspace. In 2014, PierianDx licensed these assets from Washington University and initiated commercialization of the CGW platform. Since licensing the core assets, PierianDx moved the service into a HIPAA-compliant cloud, built multi-tenant support for its partner network, expanded the knowledgebase, added exome and whole genome support, and has acquired Tute Genomics.
The Clinical Genomicist Workspace
The increased use of NGS testing presents two great challenges for healthcare organizations – scalability and handling the complexity of larger gene sets. PierianDx addresses these challenges by enabling clinical labs to streamline workflow and access a single, cloud-based workspace. This “one-space” solution is a complete suite of solution modules accompanied by support services that provide a data-driven ecosystem for clinical labs to launch or expand their NGS testing programs. GGW provides labs with a curated knowledgebase, comprehensive analysis, insightful interpretation, and precise reporting.
In addition to CGW, PierianDx also has two primary services:
Professional Services. The PierianDx professional services team provides a complete range of advisory services necessary for launching a successful NGS testing program. These services include: test validation, clinical interpretation, case preparation, case review and sign out.
NGS Gateway Program. This turnkey program allows clinical labs to access and customize a range of NGS assays right out of the box utilizing subsets customized from more than 130 different genes. Gateway delivers clinically validated genomic tests for solid tumors, hematopoietic disorders, central nervous system tumors, melanoma and more.
One Integrated Workspace for Clinical Labs
The current competitive landscape for technology solution providers in the NGS testing industry is vast and somewhat complicated. In the NGS workflow solution spectrum there are those who are focused on either somatic or germline testing, or they are focused on either bioinformatics or annotation aspects of the workflow.
PierianDx’s CGW solution addresses the entire NGS testing workflow from the sequencing data to the final signed out report. This eliminates the need for an array of fragmented systems to address each aspect of the clinical lab’s workflow. In addition, PierianDx provides a range of assays through its NGS Gateway Program that allows customers to rapidly offer NGS testing right out of the box. No other competitor offers this range of support.
Building a Culture of Innovation
PierianDx has rapidly expanded its team through organic growth and the recent acquisition of Tute Genomics. In such a dynamic market that values highly trained developers, researchers and bioinformatics specialists, it is imperative for PierianDx to maintain a vibrant culture in order to attract the best and brightest talent.
“We are a technology company, but also a people company,” said CEO Ted Briscoe. “This industry is advancing quickly so we have made it a priority to create the kind of culture that thrives on collaboration, creativity and innovation.”
The Future of PierianDx
PierianDx will continue to build on its CGW platform and expand its partner sharing network in the United States and worldwide. In a very short period of time, more than 35 customers from academic medical centers, cancer centers, children’s hospitals, health systems and commercial labs have joined the PierianDx partner network. As reimbursement follows the explosion in technical innovation, that number will expand, and along with it the value of the company’s clinical knowledgebase. The PierianDx knowledgebase provides access to the collective clinical interpretations of its customers, in addition to a range of publically available data and highly curated proprietary sources. More data drives more insight resulting in higher collaboration and more precise treatments. In the spring of 2017 PierianDx will launch aggregated data sharing, paving the way for genomic analysis and insight across patient populations. Prior data from patient cases that have been aggregated and de-identified will be available to inform current patient case review and sign out.
Meet the CEO
When asked what is most important in a CEO, Ted Briscoe said: “Building teams that are geared for rapid growth and operational excellence.” The PierianDx CEO has as a legacy of doing just that.
He has extensive experience building and managing a range of high growth technology businesses. As Managing Partner at Nidus Partners, Briscoe has helped launch and grow seven early-stage ventures based on technology licensed from academic research institutions. Prior to Nidus, Briscoe served as CEO of Vibe Solutions Group, and as president and chief operating officer of Ask Jeeves. At Ask Jeeves, he helped to propelled the search engine from the 312th ranked Internet site to the 12th largest site on the Web, while building the company into one of the most widely recognized Internet brands.
Briscoe also has a track record of building recognized brands. Briscoe spent four years at Iomega as president of the Zip drive division where he was integral in leading the company’s growth from a $140 million business to a nearly $2 billion industry leader. Briscoe spent eight years at Apple Computer where he served as Assistant to the President of Apple USA, Director of Sales and Marketing for Apple’s Personal Interactive Electronics Division, and led sales efforts in building the K-12 and higher education business.
Briscoe’s global business development experience includes negotiating licensing, manufacturing, and distribution agreements in Asia, Europe, and North America. He has raised over $100 million in venture and private equity capital and is the holder of two patents.