Sequencing goes to the world of infectious disease.
Building on the work with cell free DNA in prenatal diagnostics and cancer genomics, the team out of Steve Quake’s lab that brought us Moleculo has now launched a new company in infectious disease called Karius. In today’s interview, Karius CEO and co-founder, Mickey Kertesz, recalls the day four years ago when a clinician urgently contacted he and his team with an infected patient that could not be diagnosed by any traditional method. The team took on the case, and though the patient died within a couple days--Mickey recalls the Saturday when the team heard—they went on working on the diagnosis.
“We were very focused and went on fixing the software as if not wanting to believe what we heard.”
After a week the team did arrive at a diagnosis which was confirmed by the autopsy. That patient became patient zero, and the event turned Mickey again into an entrepreneur.
"This was not just cool research, this needs to go quickly into patient and clinician hands,” he thought.
Today Karius is an active company, selling their tests to hospitals around the country, working first on the most difficult cases.
Will these diagnostic tests by sequencing replace the traditional blood tests some day?
“Oh yeah. In a few years, this will be the first line of defense," Mickey says.