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GenVault uses innovation to cement its place in genetics-based medicine

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With the genome revolution and the promise of increases in genetics-based medicine, Carlsbad-based GenVault Corp. (News) has established itself in the biosample management market with an innovative product -- dry storage systems.

Traditionally, biosamples are stored at cold temperatures, in freezers, said David Wellis, senior vice president of marketing and sales at the company. Using existing technology that enables researchers to deposit samples onto chemically treated cards, GenVault has developed software and labeling systems designed for relatively trouble-free cataloguing.

“The big advantage is that we’re in a dry, room temperature format. The standard is storing them in freezers. When you need the samples, you have to pull them out and thaw them before they’re ready for use,” said Wellis. As samples grow, so do the costs associated with freezing, such as energy and facilities, according to Wellis.

Founded in 2001 by current CEO Mitch Eggers, Ph.D., and CSO Mike Hogan, Ph.D., GenVault built on the chemical card technology by tailoring a cataloguing system specifically for the biomedical market. Now the company has 30 employees.

“Automation, recovery and labeling were the three areas that had to be addressed before it was usable,” said Wellis.

GenVault’s core product is GenPlate, a tray that can store 384 six-millimeter, disc-shaped cards at room temperature, which can be imprinted with DNA-samples. Building on GenPlates, the company invented hardware and software for labeling the sample so the sample can be tracked through all of the downstream processing typical in biomedical research and laboratories.

The company’s biggest competition comes from resistance to change within the biomedical community, according to Wellis. “In time there will be enough customers where they won’t have to try (our system) on their own. But now we have to show them how it works.”

Snapshot: GenVault

6190 Corte del Cedro

Carlsbad, CA 92011

Phone: (760) 268-5200

Fax: (760) 268-5201

Business Summary

GenVault provides integrated archiving and retrieval solutions for organizations managing DNA collections. Future systems will also accommodate proteins and RNA to provide a comprehensive solution.

Executive, Position(s)

Mitch Eggers, Ph.D., M.B.A.: Chief Executive Officer

Michael Hogan, Ph.D.: Chief Scientific Officer

David Wellis, Ph.D.: Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Sales

Jim Davis, Ph.D.: Vice President, Biosciences

Erin Lafferty, C.P.A.: Vice President, Finance and Human Resources

Type

Privately held.


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