Press release

SM Genomics will make available to the amateur athlete a genetic test which assesses susceptibility to injury
Rosa Artells and Oriol Llampayas, SM Genomics cofounders (Photo: Daniel Portales, Barcelona Science Park).
SM Genomics, a spin-off of the University of Barcelona (UB) based at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), has just opened a financing round of 450,000 € to bring to the amateur sport Spanish market their Genetic Injury Report (GIR).
To achieve the necessary investment, the biotech has released a capital increase of 300,000 €, reserved for business angels and venture capital companies, advised and managed by INEO Corporate, a consulting firm related to the Roca Junyent Law Offices. In parallel, SM Genomics has launched a equity crowdfunding campaign led by Capital Cell.

"Our goal is not only to bring the GIR to the amateur sport sportsman who does sports regularly. We also want society to participate, to contribute and to get a sports and economic benefit to our project. This is the reason why we launched the equity crowdfunding campaign, since it allows family, friends or anyone interested in this initiative to invest modest amounts in exchange for a stake in the company", says Oriol Llampayas, co-founder and director of SM General Genomics.

Currently, SM Genomics is already marketing the GIR in the national and European markets of professional football, and is about to close scientific collaboration agreements with some of the leading public and private sports entities in Catalonia.

The proceeds gained from this capital injection will be used to carry out marketing activities, hiring of staff and investment in equipment in order to standardize processes and reduce costs to introduce the GIR into the Spanish market of amateur sport later this 2015.

Genetics at the service of sport and the welfare of society

In 2009, Dr. Rosa Artells, a researcher specializing in genetics and professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the UB, and Dr. Ricard Pruna, head physician of FC Barcelona, started a research project to study the influence of the genetic component in soft tissue injuries (muscles, ligaments and tendons) caused by the non-contact mechanism. This work took the form of the doctoral thesis of Dr. Pruna, the publication of several scientific articles and won the XV National Research Award of Sports Medicine. Significant results in subsequent studies within the same area have resulted in a patent property of the UB number EP15382132.7 'Genetic markers as intrinsic risk factors related to shoulder tone injuries', which has been transferred exclusively to SM Genomics, a spin off of the UB created in 2013 by Rosa Artells and Oriol Llampayas to give continuity to the project given its great potential.

Starting from the patented technology, the biotech has developed the Genetic Injury Report (GIR) a complete medical-genetic assessment that allows to estimate the predisposition of the professional athlete to sustain non-contact muscle, ligament and tendon injuries as well as their severity and recovery time. The test is based on the analysis of a set of key polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with risk of injury and is made from the DNA obtained from the athlete´s saliva.

"Genetic analysis provides a reliable, objective and invariable information which, applied to sport, allows us to evaluate the predisposition to sustain injury. From here, thanks to the GIR customized training protocols based on the results can be designed, which help professional athletes to improve their performance, through improved prevention aimed at reducing the risk of injury and at decreasing its severity and recovery times", explains Rosa Artells, co-founder and director of R&D at SM Genomics.

"Now we want to bring non-professional sportsmen closer to our service and professional expertise in the application of genetics to sports so that athletes can sports in a correct and balanced manner, thereby reducing the negative impact in the medium and long term. Playing sports has many positive effects; but if sports are not played properly and according to the physical and anthropometric characteristics of each person, they may also cause important adverse effects: injuries, premature osteoarthritis, orthopedic treatment, surgery, absenteeism, economic cost, pain and discomfort, and many others, which, in some cases, result in the abandonment of the athlete´s physical activity”, says Oriol Llampayas.
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