For over 20 years Golden Helix has been a software company that innovates genetic analysis software for next-generation sequencing (NGS) – and, believing that its customers and employees are at the heart of its success, it has built a glowing reputation as the industry leader in its field. Named as Best Global Bioinformatics Firm 2023 – USA in this issue of Corporate Vision magazine, we shine a light on the company and how its products are changing the face of healthcare.
A company founded by scientists for scientists, the team at Golden Helix understand what it takes to do great work in their field. They are experts who work tirelessly to help clients succeed in their projects every step of the way, from planning and implementation to training and support after deployment. They are dedicated to delivering excellence, whether a client is running a national initiative or are just starting out, including hospitals, research institutions, government agencies, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies around the world.
Also playing an enormous role in making sure everyone is familiar with the company’s cutting-edge software technology is its hardworking sales and marketing team.
Having been around since 1998, Golden Helix has extensive experience within the genetics space. In particular, it is its seven pillars of differentiation that set it apart from the rest, allowing client labs to focus on what they do best: enabling precision medicine.
Golden Helix’s award-winning NGS platform allows the streamlining of labs by providing comprehensive cancer and germline diagnostics capabilities, eliminating the need for two different platforms. This simplifies the training of employees, eliminates the need to interact with multiple vendors, and most importantly minimises friction due to incompatible data formats.
While gene panels continue to be part of the testing mix, Golden Helix recognises the industry’s shift towards clinical exomes and whole genomes, therefore its platform supports the analysis of any data size clients may encounter.
Whether a regional lab with an ever-increasing sample volume or a country-wide sequencing initiative, Golden Helix’s software solution can support the client’s throughput as they experience ongoing growth in sample volume.
Golden Helix has proved in clinical trials the software’s ability to produce the highest quality reports in order to save time and minimise reworks in the lab. It guarantees the diagnosis is performed right the first time which ensures efficiency.
The software is suitable for those clients who have a high secure deployment capability, with the ability to run on premises behind the client organisation’s firewall. This means they have complete control over the infrastructure while utilising the platform. All the same, it is possible to deploy the platform in a private cloud, with some clients opting for this solution due to wanting to simplify their IT operations.
Overall, Golden Helix’s business model is simple. It charges one annual fee for its software, training, and support. This enables the client to budget accordingly, so they know what their costs will be year on year. Unlike per-sample models that participate in their revenue stream as sample volume increases, Golden Helix’s fee remains the same no matter how many samples come through the customer’s lab.
Last but certainly not least, the Golden Helix team is always there for its clients and they want them to feel empowered by the software. That’s why they take a very proactive approach to customer success. From the very first moment a client gets in touch, the team is there to help them get up to speed on all the software’s features and functionality. Then, throughout the licensing period, they are available for unlimited support – just like an extension of the client’s own team. And this high standard of service and product doesn’t go unnoticed by the customer, either, with word of mouth references being second to none.
The recognition extends even further with Golden Helix being no stranger to awards success. Alongside its triumph within the Corporate Excellence Awards 2023, it has won numerous accolades from the likes of CorporateLiveWire, InsightsSuccess, and Biotech Breakthrough as Top Biotech Solutions in the Industry.
Meanwhile, the team’s NGS platform continues to evolve into a leading solution, as last autumn, they announced the VSClinical AMP TSO-500 Workflow. This release was developed in collaboration with clients to provide a solution for clinical analyses, taking into consideration important biomarkers such as tumour mutational burden or microsatellite stability. President & CEO, Andreas Scherer, PhD, comments, “Since its initial launch, this product has been well received in the market. We appreciate the positive feedback we have been receiving.”
The company has also been showing its enthusiasm for technology by using the virtual conference format for several years now, as it has been a great way to stay connected with its customers and partners. In 2022, it was able to attend its first in-person conferences around the world in several years, with the team enjoying getting back to meeting new and familiar faces. Andreas confirms, “The personal dialog seems irreplaceable. We value these events to give us the opportunities to further build relationships.”
He goes on to tell us more about the Golden Helix team, “We’re a team, and we all depend on each other to make our company and products great. We have a commitment to quality and excellence in everything we do, so we don’t just look for talented individuals – we look for hardworking, motivated team players who are ready to contribute to a product that is making a huge difference in the scientific community.”
“We believe in creating an environment where everyone can thrive and grow. We want you to be happy at work because that means you’ll be able to give your best effort every day.”
Indeed, Golden Helix is a company that thrives not only because of its team’s extensive expertise, but because they are simply happy within their environment. A big priority for the company is work-life balance, having equipped every employee to work at the office or from home with dual setup of desks, monitors, chairs, and anything else needed in order to do their job well. The benefits here are the flexibility to be at home if needed and quick transition between working locations with one simple plug-in.
And not only do team members delight in improving healthcare on a big scale in their day jobs, but they also enjoy a high quality of life due to the spectacular location of the company’s headquarters in the small town of Bozeman, Montana, which boasts Yellowstone National Park right on its doorstep. This is in addition to being in close proximity to world-class ski resorts and blue-ribbon trout streams. After a rewarding day at work, employees can go cycling around town or play in the company’s rec-league soccer team.
Now, the team is keenly looking towards the bright future ahead and are excited to share their ambitious vision for 2023!
The company will start 2023 strong by releasing the new version of VSClinical supporting TSO-500 for the AMP guidelines. Andreas says, “This required us to improve our ability to process fusions and other structural variants leveraging break-end notations. As a result, we have been working to harmonize our ability to handle all types of structural variants to be processed across the entire VSClinical platform. We are excited to announce that these capabilities will be available for germline interpretations in the first half of this year. “
He goes on to share, “We are also excited about the future of our Golden Helix CancerKB, a premium annotation source that connects biomarkers with clinical outcomes. Golden Helix CancerKB is an important piece of our company’s commitment to providing our customers with the highest value clinical database possible, ensuring that they have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their treatment options. Our software solution enables our customers to create clinical reports leveraging this information very efficiently.”
As the NGS market matures, the requirements for scalable deployments is increasing. The team will continue to analyse the entire underlying software stack to meet the changing scalability requirements of their customers.