I grew up watching my mom lose her vision to a degenerative retinal disease. She’s fiercely independent, and had to get into a few car accidents before we could convince her that it wasn’t safe for her to drive anymore. It felt profoundly unfair. Why didn’t she get to win the genetic lottery of good health and keep her sight like the rest of us?
Health doesn’t have to be a genetic lottery at birth. Instead of rolling the dice, with Orchid, couples today have a new ability to stack the odds in their children’s favor - toward health and against disease.
Orchid’s focus is to help couples have healthy babies. Today, couples go into the most consequential moment of their life—conceiving their child—blind. Couples have no visibility into how their genetics will impact their future child’s health. Couples with family members who suffer from diseases like schizophrenia are so consumed with fear around passing on the condition that some forgo having children at all. We’re here to change that.
We believe every couple that wants to conceive, should be able to do so confidently. We believe prospective parents deserve access to modern genetics so they can make informed choices about how to protect the health of their family.
First-of-its-kind ultra high resolution genetic testing system
Over the past year, we’ve built a first-of-its-kind ultra high resolution genetic testing system that allows couples to measure and mitigate genetic risk for the diseases that matter to most of us.
Our reports detect if a couple can pass on an elevated genetic predisposition to their future children for 10 top diseases: heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Existing genetic tests only allow parents to screen for the super rare events with a 1 in 10,000 or even 1 in a million chance of happening. These diseases follow a “simple” inheritance pattern and are caused by single gene mutations. Unfortunately, the diseases that matter to most of us aren’t so “simple”. For most diseases, there isn’t a single genetic cause but rather millions of variants across the genome collectively driving disease risk. Orchid can quantify risk for these “complex” diseases that matter to most of us - 1 in 5 Americans is affected by the diseases we screen for.
Existing genetic tests only sequence less than 2% of a single partner’s genome. In contrast, Orchid reads 100% of both partner’s genomes. We don’t cut corners and are here to provide the most comprehensive results available.
Existing genetic tests aren’t actionable. NIPT allows pregnant mothers after 10 weeks to discover if their child has Down Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. The only option to avoid disease is termination of the pregnancy. In contrast, Orchid allows couples to understand if they are at elevated genetic risk before they conceive. Couples then have the option to quantify genetic risk present in each embryo, and transfer the lowest risk embryo that is most likely to lead to a healthy, normal pregnancy.
Orchid’s Couple Report is available now.
Orchid’s Couple Report is designed for all couples looking to go into their pregnancy prepared and informed about how to optimize health for their family. It’s a simple at-home saliva test that comes with three reports – one detailing a future child’s risk and one outlining each partner’s individual risk. You’re not alone – every report is reviewed by a board certified genetic counselor before delivery to you.
Later this year, we’ll roll out Orchid’s Embryo Report to help prioritize embryos based on mitigating disease risk for couples in the IVF process.
The future is here
We’re excited to deliver on the promise of precision medicine. The goal of genomic medicine for over three decades has finally been realized – we can now measure genetic susceptibility to the diseases that matter most. We’re honored to give parents the ability to change the trajectory of their children’s life – toward health, and away from diseases that have burdened their family for generations.
Here’s to a future where every couple that wants to conceive, gets to do so with confidence.
Here’s to a future where fewer of our children suffer from the same diseases that affected their parents.
Here’s to a future where fewer lives are hijacked by health issues.
Thank you to the exceptional group of operators and investors that are helping us build that future. We’ve raised a $4.6M seed round from the founders 23andMe (Anne Wojcicki), Coinbase (Brian Armstrong, Fred Ehrsam), Counsyl (Balaji Srinivasan), Clover (Vivek Garipalli), Eventbrite (Kevin Hartz), Flatiron (Nat Turner), Oscar (Mario Schlosser), Stellar (Jed McCaleb) as well as institutional support from Refactor Capital, Village Global, Day One Ventures, Olive Capital, Boom Capital, and more.
Life is short, do work that matters at Orchid
We’re a small team of optimistic builders working on Orchid because we believe helping couples have healthy babies will be the most significant work of our lives. If you’re motivated by building a future where fewer lives are interrupted by disease, we’d love to see you join the founding team.
Orchid is for everyone
Orchid is deeply committed to our technology being made available to every family that stands to benefit. If you or someone you know could benefit but isn’t able to afford testing, please fill out this application for financial assistance and we’ll see how we can help.
Thanks for reading.
Some quotes from the investors and advisors bringing Orchid to every couple that wants to go into their pregnancy prepared.
“Orchid is a breakthrough in preconception testing which allows parents to protect their children against many more types of inherited disease. It’s a step up from traditional Mendelian genetic testing, as it tests for multifactorial conditions that impact the majority of the population.”
- Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder of genetic testing company Counsyl (acquired by Myriad) and former General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
“Genetics impacts every person’s health, yet most of us walk through life unaware of our unique genetic makeup including health risk. By harnessing population genetics, statistical modeling, reproductive technologies, and the latest advances in genomic science, Orchid will give many folks the chance to be parents and use science to help improve their families’ genomic health. Having been an advisor, investor, and active participant in the genomics field for over twenty years, I recognize this as a landmark moment in reproductive rights for all, and I’m proud to be involved with Orchid’s future as an early investor and advisor to the team.”
- Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante, MacArthur award-winning Stanford population geneticist and vocal advocate for consumer choice in healthcare
"Often in healthcare, we are treating the symptoms instead of striking at the root. Orchid is a categorical change. It’s a step towards where we need to go in medicine—away from managing chronic disease, and towards anticipating and preventing it. With Orchid, parents can do that from birth which is an important step in the right direction.”
- Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase
“As soon as I tried Orchid, I knew how valuable this was going to be to other couples. To have data on how our genetics will impact our child allows us to make better choices as parents. This is a company that is really going to change a lot of people’s lives and quality of life for the better, and I’m really excited to be involved.”
- Noga Leviner, CEO of Picnic Health
“Wishing you’d known information that could have protected your child’s health is a parent’s worst fear and regret. Orchid helps alert you at the earliest stages to genetic risks that can negatively impact your child’s long-term health. Armed with this information, prospective parents can proactively manage their own health and make informed reproductive decisions. I am beyond excited to be able to soon offer my patients this preconception screening option.”
- Ruben Alvero, MD
“Over the years, I’ve seen firsthand the rapid evolution of genetic testing on embryos. The advent of advanced genetic technologies and the latest science allows us to optimize patients’ outcomes beyond just embryo viability. Predicting and preventing chronic common diseases is one of the 21st century’s greatest health challenges, and Orchid is paving the way for improving generational health for many future families.”
- Barry Behr, PhD
“Now more than ever, couples are proactively involved in their reproductive care and family planning. I see this first-hand with the patients I take care of at Stanford. Orchid brings the long overdue promise of “precision medicine” directly to couples seeking comprehensive, advanced genetic screening for their growing family. This enabling technology could not have come at a better time. I’m excited to see my fellow physician colleagues and future patients embrace a future with improved prevention strategies for chronic debilitating diseases.”
- Lusy Aghajanova, MD, PhD
“Up until now, parents could only genetically screen for the rare events with a 1 in 1,000 or even 1 in a million chance of happening. Yet there was no way for prospective parents to measure their future child’s genetic predispositions to much more common chronic, debilitating diseases based on their combined genetics alone. Orchid now makes this astounding at-home test a reality.”
- Jacques Cohen, PhD, Director of ART Institute of Washington