AUSTIN, TEXAS – MAY 30, 2016 — Embark Veterinary Inc., in partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, is launching a new comprehensive dog DNA test to improve dog health and wellness. The Embark Dog DNA Test tracks over 200,000 genetic markers, offering ancestry analysis as well as key insights into genetic disease risk and heritable traits. Until now, a conscientious dog owner who wanted to know if their dog was at risk for genetic defects had to research their dog’s breed, select their top worries, and run multiple tests. Today, Embark is putting 160+ genetic results all on a single test, enabling dog owners to understand their dog’s health, plan for their future, and provide the most personalized care possible.
“Embark’s mission is to provide our customers with the most comprehensive look at their dog’s genetic makeup, and to be able to make informed decisions about health, diet, exercise, and overall wellness,” said Ryan Boyko, CEO. Unlike products currently on the market, Embark goes beyond breed identification and explains why a dog looks, sheds, and plays the way it does. As the company uncovers new genetic disease markers, Embark will retroactively update all customers’ results where possible, giving them life-long insight and discovery.
Dogs are statistically more likely to be affected with a genetic disease than their humans. For mixed-breed dogs, Embark can determine what percent of the genome comes from each breed. Embark looks at mutations that occur in each breed to determine if a dog is at risk of developing any of these conditions. This information is provided to owners via an interactive website and as a Vet Report, designed specifically for owners to bring to their vets to help guide healthcare decisions. Knowing a dog’s genetic predisposition for disease can help owners take precautionary measures or know what to watch for to avoid costly veterinary services, including ER visits where an overnight stay can cost up to $1000.
“Hundreds of thousands of dogs are tested every year for single issues, but not on scientific-grade chips. With scientific-grade chips, no only can owners get a more complete picture of their dog’s unique genetic make-up, but we can make real scientific advances that improve our understanding of dog genetics to get to healthier and happier dogs,” said Dr. Adam Boyko, Chief Science Officer and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Cornell veterinary college. “It’s a huge research opportunity, and we want to facilitate and lead this effort to advance our understanding of conditions like cancer, immune disorders, cardiac disease, hip dysplasia, and aging.”
For $199 and a dog’s mouth swab of DNA, Embark provides owners an interactive interface to explore their dog’s breed information and results for over 160 genetic diseases and conditions. To purchase an Embark Dog DNA Test, please visit http://www.embarkvet.com.
Embark Veterinary, Inc. was founded in July 2015 and has since raised over $1.8 million in seed-round investment, including substantial investments from Slow Ventures and the Aspiration Growth Fund. Embark is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is an official research partner of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and a client company of the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell University.
Ryan and Adam Boyko have spent the last decade learning everything they could about dogs – how did they first get humans to fall in love with them, how did humans and dogs change each other in the years since then, and how can we best care for our furry family members? In the course of their quest to understand the domestic dog, they have discovered many of the things that make every breed and every individual dog unique. This led to breakthrough research on the origin of the domestic dog near Central Asia over 15,000 years ago. While they enjoy working in the lab and doing field research around the globe, Adam and Ryan have always wanted to share their work and improve the lives of dogs in homes across the world. They founded Embark to bring cutting-edge science and insights directly to dog owners.