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LAS VEGAS, Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Heligenics, Inc., introduces a groundbreaking advancement in the discovery of new medicines. This cutting-edge research marks a pivotal moment in the field of biopharmaceuticals, in which High Content Screening, historically used for screening potential small molecule drugs, can now be applied to very important Biologic drugs such as Insulin, Interferons, and 100s of other medicines. Our GigaAssay technology now enables screening of 100,000s of new Biologics and combines results from new bi-functional Interferon chimera. Bi-functional chimera such as Eli Lilly's blockbuster drug Mounjaro™ are a promising new potent type of drug class. Not only does Heligenics discover new bi-functional Interferon chimera, but it uses its GigaAssay to customize the chimera with precision glycosylation, new variants, and hybrids from three or more Interferon genes. The highly specialized drugs with customized changes are set to deliver superior therapeutic outcomes for 20 different autoimmune, viral infections, and cancers, setting new standards in patient care. Dr. Jerome Rotter, MD, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at UCLA and Heligenics Board member said, "We think that this new approach to Heligenics drug development of Biologics will become adopted by the whole pharmaceutical industry. Heligenics has demonstrated key proof of concept studies for Interferon-related therapies." Dr. Martin Schiller, PhD and CEO, said "By screening over 100,000 different bi-functional Interferon chimera, hybrid Interferons, precision glycosylated Interferons, and mutant Interferons with one or more genetic variants, Heligenics has established itself as a leader in discovery of new Interferon therapies." Heligenics is poised to dramatically transform both the therapeutic and diagnostic landscapes. Heligenics potential impact was recently featured in a February 5 New York Times article. Heligenics is seeking and exploring opportunities to partner with a Pharmaceutical company to take these Interferon bi-functional drug chimera and custom chimera for other Biologics to market. Heligenics now has the best lead library for drug discovery in the Interferon space, drugs currently used as antivirals and to fight cancer and autoimmune disorders. For inquiries and partnership opportunities, please contact us at: About Heligenics, Inc.: Heligenics, Inc. is a trailblazing biotechnology company specializing in biopharmaceutical innovation and applications of genetics. With a dedication to improving healthcare worldwide, Heligenics is committed to delivering groundbreaking solutions that transform the future of medicine. Heligenics, Inc.; (209) 480-5774; Below are some of the outlets where our press release was featured: Yahoo! Finance AP News Market Watch Cision PR Newswire KTLA (Los Angeles) Seeking Alpha Morningstar Benzinga WJW-TV Fox-8 (Cleveland, OH) WFLA NBC 8 (Tampa, FL) WXIN-TV Fox-59 (Indianapolis, IN) KLAS-TV CBS-8 (Las Vegas, NV) KRON 4 (San Francisco, CA) WGN 9 (Chicago, IL) KDVR-TV Fox 31 (Denver, CO) KXAN-TV NBC-36. (Austin, TX) WHTM-TV ABC-27 (Harrisburg, PA) KPLR-TV KTVI-TV Fox-2 (St. Louis, MO) KOIN-TV CBS-6 (Portland, OR) WDAF FOX 4 (Kansas City, MO) WGHP FOX 8 (Greensboro, NC) WCMH NBC 4 (Columbus, OH) WAVY-TV NBC 10 (Portsmouth, VA)

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Heligenics, Inc., a pioneering biotechnology company applying functional genomics to drug discovery, announced today that it has reshaped the landscape of interferon beta drugs (IFN) which are widely-prescribed for Multiple Sclerosis. The Heligenics GigaAssay drug development platform rapidly assesses all genetic variants in a target gene, and tests the functional impact of each mutation, en masse, in live human cells. Using this comprehensive system, Heligenics analyzed ~5,000 genetic changes in the IFN gene and identified 70 promising biobetter sequence leads and an astonishing 1,300 biosimilar sequence leads. This cutting-edge innovation marks a pivotal moment in the field of biopharmaceuticals, in which High Content Screening, historically used for small molecules, can now be applied to Biologics drugs such as Insulin and Interferons. The Heligenics GigaAssay technology enables engineering of improved Biologic drug versions, "biobetters," with significantly improved effectiveness. Biobetters are set to deliver superior therapeutic outcomes, setting new standards in patient care. Similarly, related versions of existing drugs, "biosimilars," can reduce the cost of a large number of medications. The Heligenics CEO, Dr. Martin Schiller, PhD said, "With the identification of over 70 biobetter and 1,300 biosimilar sequences, Heligenics is poised to transform drug development IFN, and other, biologic drugs. These Interferon Beta variants hold immense promise in improving the first-line therapy for Multiple Sclerosis." Dr. Jerome Rotter, MD, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at UCLA and Heligenics Board member said, "Until now, no one has delivered a technology to functionally assess every possible mutation in a gene. This is the second biggest technology advance that I have seen in my entire career, only after next generation whole genome sequencing. I believe that Heligenics is poised to dramatically advance both the therapeutic and diagnostic landscapes. IFN beta is just the beginning." Heligenics is seeking opportunities to partner with pharmaceutical companies to: 1) take the Interferon Beta Biobetters to market, and 2) collaborate on multiple new biological drug projects. For inquiries and partnership opportunities, please contact us via About Heligenics, Inc.: Heligenics, Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in functional genomics research and biopharmaceutical innovation. At Heligenics, we construct vast variant libraries and develop cell-based GigaAssays to understand the functional effects of all possible genetic variations on a target gene. All. Possible. Variants. This comprehensive analysis can create novel biobetters, improved biosimilars, and can be used to stratify patients for truly precision clinical trials. By providing comprehensive genomic solutions to pharmaceutical and biotech companies we intend to significantly alter the way biological drugs are developed and how clinical trials are conducted. Heligenics, Inc.; (860) 977-5962; SOURCE Heligenics, Inc

LAS VEGAS, June 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Heligenics, a cutting-edge biotech company, announces a first-of-its-kind precision genetic test to select among drugs to treat breast cancer. There are multiple drugs available to treat breast cancer. Most patients become drug resistant, meaning that the cancer cells aren't responding to the drug that is usually able to kill or weaken them. Although many patients eventually die from acquiring resistance to a drug, there is no systematic approach to identifying the variants that cause target-derived drug resistance. There are over 10,000 potential mutations in a cancer gene and we have no idea which ones produce resistance. It would be great if we could match the therapy to the genetics of the tumor, but as of today there is little rationale for choosing among drugs. Heligenics revolutionized selection of the right drug with its first-of-its-kind genetic test for breast cancer that chooses among 3 FDA-approved drugs. Using our proprietary GigaAssay technology we can rapidly determine which of the 10,000s of mutants would make a breast cancer patient susceptible to a drug they would want to take. Heligenics also identifies which of these variants produced resistance to the drug. Heligenics has started with 3 breast cancer drugs called Tykerb™, Tukysa™, and Nerlynx™. This will transform analysis of biopsies to create a data-driven approach to treatment. Dr. Jerome Rotter, a board member of Heligenics and Director of Translational Genomics and Population Sciences at the Lundquist Institute / Harbor-UCLA said, "This test is a great example of the future of personalized drug therapy." Heligenics is looking for commercial partners that can run a prospective trial, gain FDA approval and bring this test to market to save lives. For more information contact Martin Schiller at or (860) 977-5962. Heligenics is a biotech company based in Las Vegas, NV specializing in functional genomics research and services. Their expertise lies in understanding the effects of genetic variations on gene function, disease development, and drug response. They provide comprehensive genomic solutions to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as healthcare providers, advancing personalized medicine and precision therapeutics. With innovative approaches and proprietary technologies, Heligenics constructs large variant libraries and develops cell-based GigaAssays to comprehensively assess gene function. They offer custom services in drug development and molecular diagnostics, helping clients identify drug targets, optimize candidates, resolve diagnostic challenges, and advance precision medicine. Heligenics is a trusted leader in functional genomics research. SOURCE Heligenics, Inc

Press ReleaseMay 11, 2021 Heligenics, Inc. today announced a new collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory (JAX). This joint project will make available the functional output of Variants of Unknown Significance (VUS) throughout key portion of the ERBB2 gene through the JAX Clinical Knowledgebase (CKB), a digital resource that connects clinicians and researchers around the globe in order to interpret complex cancer genomic profiles. “This is a fabulous partnership that will help modernize and expand variant interpretation for key cancer genes,” says Dr. Martin R. Schiller, CEO at Heligenics. “JAX is bringing a lot to the table and is a valued partner.” Heligenics’ proprietary GigaAssay process measures causal functional impact of all mutants in a gene in 4 to 5 months while it takes other technologies decades to identify just a single marker. This collaboration will lead to future clinical trials, research grants, and publications to advance the fight against cancers, offering patients hope by identifying actionable ERBB2 variants for potential treatment. CKB currently provides extensive information relevant to interpretation of cancer-related genomic data, including thousands of gene variant descriptions, therapies, as well as evidence of therapeutic efficacy, accessible through a web-based application. JAX-CKB can help increase clinician confidence in completeness and accuracy of the information related to the patient’s tumor genomic profile. For translational and clinical researchers, JAX-CKB provides thousands of literature citations, FDA drug labels, and clinical trials relative to a tumor’s genomic mutational profile, resulting in a clear and up-to-date picture of discoveries and active developments for a variety of biomarkers. “Heligenics’ GigaAssay technology has the potential to advance genomic interpretation, and we are excited for the opportunity to provide large scale interpretation of previously unknown genomic variants to our users, with the hope of connecting patients to relevant treatment options that otherwise may not have been identified,” says Sara Patterson, Ph.D. manager, clinical analytics and curation at JAX. The benefits of this new collaboration include: Identifying the impact of thousands of poorly understood ERBB2 mutations Enhancing the understanding of how ERBB2 mutations cause various types of breast and other cancers, including gastric cancer Testing of 95% of possible mutants being tested for functional impact in 5 months – a dramatic improvement over today’s less than 8% of possible ERBB2 mutants characterized after more than 25 years of study Analyzing, retrospectively, how the gene mutation/function library data can improve patient outcomes Providing additional insight into breast and other cancers caused by these genetic mutations through a collaboration of research and publications “This collaboration with Heligenics will allow us to define new therapeutic targets for cancer patients,” said Jens Rueter, M.D., medical director at JAX’s Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI). “Ultimately, this has the potential to lead to new treatment options for cancer patients, including the many patients and families affected by cancer in Maine.” Heligenics: Heligenics Incorporated, founded in 2018 to uncover the function of genetic variants on a massive scale for improved diagnostics and improved clinical trial design for developing new drugs. Heligenics’ key technology, the GigaAssay, was invented in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Schiller at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas where he leads the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine. As the effect of most mutations on gene function is largely unknown, Heligenics comprehensively measures the functional significance of mutations in the human genome and has exclusive rights to the patent pending GigaAssay technology. To learn more, please visit The Jackson Laboratory (JAX): Founded in 1929, JAX pioneered the use of mice as models for human disease. As an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit biomedical research institution, JAX uniquely integrates its deep experience in mouse genetics with ground-breaking advances in human genomics to decipher the biological and genomic causes of human disease and drive medical progress. JAX research breakthroughs have formed the foundation of modern medicine. Organ and bone marrow transplants, stem cell therapies, and in vitro fertilization all have a foundation in JAX research, and at least 26 Nobel Prizes are associated with JAX research, mouse models, and education programs.

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Innovation Center @ Vegas (IIC@Vegas), a center for established and emerging tech companies developing smart technologies, announces a new tenant: Heligenics, Inc., a company founded to improve drug development, optimize clinical trial design and discover new diagnostics. The city of Las Vegas approved today a lease with Heligenics for 1,300 square feet at IIC@Vegas' satellite location at 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North (former Library). The IIC@Vegas at 300 S. 4th Street, which opened in September 2019, is fully occupied with ten tenants, prompting the city to expand its capacity via the satellite location. The Center was established to attract and accommodate companies whose products support city priorities, including workforce development, smart technology, at-risk populations, neighborhood development and public safety. Heligenics' key technology, the GigaAssay, was invented in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Schiller, Director of the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Heligenics comprehensively measures the functional significance of mutations in the human genome and has exclusive rights to the patent-pending GigaAssay technology. In drug discovery and development, many drug candidates fail in clinical trials due to natural germline human variation in the target protein or pathway. Heligenics enables conversion of generic drugs into targeted precision medicines via a genetically stratified clinical trial. For diagnostic companies, Heligenics can provide the functional significance of previously unknown variants in cancer genes (called Variants of Unknown Significance) in addition to the effect of mutations in key disease gene promoter regions, enabling genetic biomarker discovery for novel genetic tests. "We are excited to have Heligenics as a tenant at our Innovation Center's satellite location," said Bill Arent, director of the city of Las Vegas Economic and Urban Development department. "Heligenics is an important participant in the development of biotechnology-related companies in the greater Las Vegas region." In 2015, Heligenics received a $2.5 million grant from the State of Nevada Knowledge Fund competition funded the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine. The company recently expanded its staff to include Dale Yuzuki as Chief Commercial Officer; Lancer Brown as Sr. Molecular Biologist; and Trisha Gulati as Bioinformatics Scientist. SOURCE Heligenics, Inc.


Synonymous Variants of Uncertain Silence

Giacoletto CJ, Rotter JIGrody WW, Schiller MR. Int. J. Mol. Sci. (2023) 24: 10556 PMID: 37445732


The History and Conceptual Framework of Assays and Screens.

Giacoletto CJ, Schiller MR. Bioessays (2023) 45:e2200191 PMID: 36789580


Accurate Prediction of Transcriptional Activity of Single Missense Variants in HIV Tat with Deep Learning.

Derbel H, Giacoletto CJ, Benjamin R, Chen G, Schiller MR, Liu Q. Int J Mol Sci. (2023) 24:6138 PMID: 37047108 

Most Synonymous Allelic Variants in HIV Tat are Not Silent.

Giacoletto CJ, Benjamin R, Deng HW, Rotter JI, Schiller MR. Genomics (2023) 115:110603 PMID: 36893872 

Heligenics: Fulfilling the Promise of the Functional Genome to Enable Precision Medicine

Schiller, MR. (2023) March 

Biopharma Deal Issue of Nature. Invited Advertisement

ISSN 2730-6283

Data Supporting a Saturation Mutagenesis Assay for Tat-driven Transcription with the GigaAssay
Benjamin R, Giacoletto CJ, FitzHugh ZT, Eames D, Buczek L, Wu X, Newsome J, Han MV, Pearson T, Wei Z, Banerjee A, Brown L, Valente LJ, Shen S, Deng HW, Schiller MR.  Data in Brief (2022) 45:108641 PMID: 36426049

GigaAssay – An Adaptable High-throughput Saturation Mutagenesis Assay Platform

Benjamin R, Giacoletto CJ, FitzHugh ZT, Eames D, Buczek L, Wu X, Newsome J, Han MV, Pearson T, Wei Z, Banerjee A, Brown L, Valente LJ, Shen S, Deng HW, Schiller MR.  Genomics (2022) 114(4):110439 PMID: 35905834

GigaAssay – a high-throughput assay system for molecular functions and cell processes

Schiller MR, Benjamin R, Giacoletto CJ, FitzHugh ZT, Eames D, Buczek L, Wu X, Newsome J, Han MV, Pearson T, Wei Z, Banjeree A, Shen S, Deng HW. Schiller MR (2021) Research Square

doi: 10.21203/


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The rise of high content screening in biologics

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Unlocking the future of medicine

February 28, 2024, Las Vegas Review Journal

This growing industry could help Las Vegas diversify its economy

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Biotech startup aims to make big impact in Las Vegas and nationwide

February 2024, New York Times Article

How Nevada Is Pushing to Generate Jobs Beyond the Casinos 

February 2023, National Institutes of Health SBIR grant

We were awarded the National Institute of Health grant for our project: High-throughput functional analysis and clinical relevance of all possible variants of a gene 


March 21, 2022, Pharma's Almanac Article

Connecting Genetic Mutations to Health


May 12, 2021
Heligenics, Jackson Lab Partner to Study Breast Cancer Gene Variants

February 22, 2021, The Nevada Independent Article

We can kickstart Nevada’s Medical Research Future with More Laboratory Space

February 12, 2021, KNPR radio cast
Diversifying Nevada’s Economy Might Take The Work Of Angels

October 25, 2018, Las Vegas Review Journal Article
UNLV Professor’s Lab Research Lead to Startup

October 29, 2018, Las Vegas Review Journal Article
Startup Grows from UNLV Lab Focused on Genetic Testing

January 26, 2017, Las Vegas Heals Article
First Genomics Startup Company Centered Around UNLV Biotechnologies Formed

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