Golden Helix, Inc.: Empowering Healthcare Organizations with Industry- Leading Next- Generation Sequencing Analysis Software

Andreas Scherer | Ph.D, President & CEO | Golden Helix, Inc.

Biotech is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world as data continues to drive the development of biotechnology solutions to advance the healthcare system. With the aim to bring advancements in genomic data and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), Golden Helix enables clinicians and researchers to conduct advanced analytics on genomic data with full scalability, workflow automation and the ability to capture and query a lab’s entire output. The Montana based biotech firm has been in business for over 20 years supporting and streamlining the clinical decision-making process for NGS clients in over 400 organizations with 1,000s of users worldwide.

Anyone in the industry is familiar with the term “pay-per-sample” and knows how quickly that adds up. Golden Helix stands as a key player in the industry with their unique business model. Golden Helix’s clinical decision-making platform is licensed annually, meaning one, predictable cost with zero additional fees.

The company is solely focused on enabling precision medicine with powerful software tools that allow their users to derive meaning from the rapidly increasing amounts of data the industry is currently experiencing. Being the constantly evolving industry that it is, Golden Helix is expected to keep up with these changes and will continue to strengthen their capabilities for interpreting cancer-related diseases. Additionally, they will be strengthening their Copy Number Variant (CNV) analytics capabilities. Their industry-leading CNV algorithm is a high focus for the company and deepening the integration of their CNV capabilities into their clinical interpretation and reporting workflows.

Comprehensive Clinical Solution

Golden Helix’s clinical suite is an end-to-end solution for the rapid analysis of genomic data from the raw sequencer output to clinical report. Their software supports the thorough analysis of the sample data coming from NGS machines and takes the analysis to the endproduct of the clinical test: the genetic test report. Finally, it stores all the intermediate and final data in a repository integrating with laboratory and hospital record systems through standard protocols and APIs.

Secondary Analysis 

Golden Helix provides the unique ability to analyze genomic data in regards to Single Nucleotide Variations and Structural Variations. Via their partnership with Sentieon, they can provide a highly performant secondary pipeline that includes alignment and variant calling on par with GATK and MuTect2 at much-improved speed levels. Golden Helix’s product VSCNV is capable of detecting CNV events starting at the exon level all the way to aberrations of an entire chromosome.

Tertiary Analysis 

VarSeq and VSClinical cover all clinically relevant workflows for the filtering and annotating of genomic data. For example, it supports gene panels, trios, single exome, and whole genome workflows. With a single click, users can generate a clinical report that integrates the specific findings with annotation sources. VSClinical provides specialized workflows to answer the variant scoring criteria of the ACMG and AMP guidelines or the interpretation of germline and somatic variants, respectively. Reports can be customized to meet the requirements of each clinical test, while the interpretations of variants are stored in a laboratory knowledge base that reduces the work done on each new sample.

Data Warehousing 

VSWarehouse captures the artifacts of the bioinformatics pipeline. Via powerful APIs, the product connects to other lab and hospital systems such as EPIC or Cerner’s Millennium. It allows users to version the clinical analysis conducted by lab work, including the annotation sources that have been used during the tertiary analysis. This is a key capability during discovery should a lab or hospital be involved in legal disputes.

Extensive Offering at an Affordable Price 

Today, most of the businesses have adopted a per sample model which becomes complex when the customer starts using it. The per-sample charges continually add up, leading to higher, unpredictable costs; affordable solutions for labs performing NGS are essential in the precision medicine industry. Thus, Golden Helix has instilled simplicity in its business model. Their products are affordable and come with a yearly license fee without any additional intermittent charges. Additionally, the yearly fee includes all training and support required by the user, and any software updates as well. The company continuously strives to shrink price points and make its solutions available to users in a convenient, affordable way.

Stepping Towards Never-Ending Success 

Last year, Golden Helix received a Phase II SBIR Grant from the NIH to further improve and refine proprietary algorithms for detecting CNVs and other structural variants from NGS data in the clinical context. Golden Helix’s President & CEO, Dr. Andreas Scherer, said, “In the last three years, Golden Helix has launched numerous products and will continue to do so. Likewise, we are on an expedition to embed AI capabilities to strengthen our capabilities for AI-supported solutions further while enabling customers to be in control of the diagnostic process.” Therefore, as one of the most experienced leaders in the biotech industry, Golden Helix is building a golden path toward a sustainable future with new products and features at an affordable cost.

A Healthcare Proficient 

Andreas Scherer, Ph.D, prior to joining Golden Helix as President & CEO, took on management roles at AOL/Netscape, as well as at a number of private software companies. He has also worked on improving research and development activities within pharmaceutical companies, life science organizations, and medical research companies.

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