Santa Cruz Tech Beat | June 27, 2019

I met Kelly Harkins Kincaid about two years ago. She was Kelly Harkins back then and she was fully engaged in starting up her startup, Claret Bio, but wasn’t ready for the company to be out of stealth mode. Naturally, I asked her to please let me know when she was ready. She agreed. Founders and CEOs typically forget about such exchanges, so I was delighted to hear from Kelly a couple weeks ago. She wrote, “We are about to come out of stealth mode(!) with a very soft launch, to introduce our first product to beta testers… Would this be of interest to Santa Cruz Tech Beat?” Of course!

Here’s your opportunity to learn about one of the new biotech startups located on the westside of Santa Cruz.

SCTB: You’re the Founding CEO of a life science (biotech) startup that’s coming out of stealth for a “soft” launch. Tell us about it. 
Kelly Harkins Kincaid: Claret Bio is an early stage life science company with offices and labs in Santa Cruz. We spun out from UC Santa Cruz in 2017 from the lab of Dr. Ed Green and Dr. Beth Shapiro. Our first commercial offering is SRSLY, a quick and easy kit that generates DNA sequencing libraries suitable for a standard “next-generation sequencing” or NGS workflow.

Our NGS library preparation technology is born from the field of ancient DNA, so our expertise lies in handling highly degraded samples. But rather than applying to extinct mammals, Claret Bio has optimized the kit for important clinical and oncology sample types: cell-free DNA – DNA that is found circulating in your blood– and FFPE, a stored form of tissue biopsy. These biomedical samples share remarkable similarity to ancient DNA, which is highly fragmented and present in minute quantities. For this reason, the SRSLY approach in many ways outperforms conventional library preparation methods, and recovers added genetic information lost in standard approaches.


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