Although you may not consider Montana a center of biotechnology, Golden Helix has proven time and again how they are able to expand their influence and impact on the biotech community amid the scenic Northwest. The software company is a leader in Next-Gen Sequencing DNA software and supports the creation of clinical reports in the cancer and inherited disease spaces. Their technologies and analytics continue to empower scientists and healthcare professionals to derive meaning from their vast amounts of data. Here is how Golden Helix got to where it is today and where they plan on going.
Developing high-quality products for more than two decades
Golden Helix has a 24-year track record in the industry and is committed to continuously assessing new technologies and their potential to build value-added products. Each new technology advancement is viewed from the customer’s perspective to assess its useability and determine how cost savings can be made.
Part of what sets Golden Helix apart as a biotech company is how they streamline the diagnostic process and improve sample input without compromising quality. Their flagship product, VSClinical, conducts the clinical analysis of NGS samples ensuring concordance with applicable guidelines, including the ACMG and AMP guidelines. For their high-end customers, their clinical workflows through VSPipeline give customers advanced automation capabilities. And as their clients’ data processing sizes grow, customers need a way to organize data and build a knowledge base for continuing analysis and ongoing research. Their VSWarehouse product answers this call by enabling users to sift through this data for specific variants or data sets in a shorter amount of time.
Standing out from the competition
Golden Helix has been well-received due to its dynamic approach to NGS software and its streamlined application. This approach also sets it apart from industry competitors. Since both cancer and inherited diseases occur in clinical practice frequently, Golden Helix provides their customers with both capabilities in one paradigm, so there is never a choice of which to focus on.
When it comes to deployment capabilities, they allow for the deployment on-premise and in the private cloud. Customers of Golden Helix can choose which components of the software stack they want to use behind firewalls or in a cloud environment.
Their products also scale efficiently with their clients’ diverse datasets, from small, targeted panels to whole genome analysis. Their customers range from small start-up laboratories to large-scale national sequencing projects that require rapid response times and high-volume deployments.
To ensure that customers have a budget-safety guarantee, the company’s business model centers on a fixed fee. Customers can increase sample volume without incurring additional costs on the analytics side, which increases their customer’s profitability. As another example of its commitment to the scientific, clinical, and financial success of its customers, Golder Helix hasn’t raised its prices since entering the clinical analytics market, even in this inflationary environment.
A dynamic company driven by values
A company’s people are its greatest asset. Andreas Scherer, Golden Helix President & CEO, is committed to creating a positive work environment. With more work to do than one company and its employees can deliver, Dr. Scherer wants his employees to avoid burnout by supporting a stimulating environment for employees.
Along with a high quality of life thanks to the Montana lifestyle, the company provides its employees with the ability to work from home or the office and a generous compensation package. These factors, among others, have earned the company the title of one of the Best Places to Work in CIO Views.
As another testament to staying in tune with customer needs and wants, Golden Helix has chosen to remain financially independent using a bootstrap approach. Since their initial investment by GSK more than twenty years ago, they have not accepted any funding. They have been able to thrive in a rapidly growing market by focusing on quality products and satisfying the demand for innovation. They combine their expertise in software development, marketing, and sales to create a profitable and sustainable business that can compete on a global level. These qualities earned them a placement on the Inc. 5000 list for three years in a row beginning in 2019.
Giving back to the community
By sharing best practices through eBooks on Clinical Variant Analysis, as one example, and by hosting monthly industry webinars, the employees at Golden Helix contribute to the global knowledge base of bioinformatics. They received several grants from the NIH, and Dr. Scherer continues to serve as a reviewer for NIH grant applications from other companies.
On a more local level, the company sponsors various university programs at Montana State University in computer science and engineering, languages and the arts, as well as athletic programs. You can also find employees participating in local conferences and speaking events. The company has emphasized continuing this involvement which enriches its team, community, and the industry as a whole.
With its excellent global customer base in place, Golden Helix plans to expand its footprint in all relevant global markets over the next five years. The company is ready to deploy more large-scale projects and equip customers with reliable tools to handle increasing numbers of samples in a timely and accurate manner. They are focusing their efforts on achieving this goal, both in the past and now. This will allow them to scale up with the industry. The company’s success in the biotech space has shown that Golden Helix will continue to harness genomics’ potential with its innovative solutions.