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VA names Polaris Genomics a finalist in $20 million Mission Daybreak grand challenge to reduce Veteran suicides

We're excited to explore the potential for the VA to incorporate our genomic & precision mental health tools into the VA health system & for our game-changing technologies to help so many in need.”
— Polaris Genomics CEO Charles Cathlin
WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, September 20, 2022 / -- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has named Polaris Genomics as a finalist in Mission Daybreak — a $20 million challenge designed to help VA develop new suicide prevention strategies for Veterans. As a finalist, Polaris Genomics will receive $250,000 and advance to Phase 2 of the challenge.

Polaris Genomics, a Veteran-owned company, is propelling modern mental healthcare toward a long-overdue dawn of precision medicine by combining its next-generation genomic sequencing tool with its bioinformatics and machine learning platform. The solution will empower providers to identify mental health conditions earlier and with higher accuracy to match Veterans with the most effective treatment to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

During Phase 2 of the challenge, 30 finalists will join a virtual accelerator program designed to help the finalists develop ambitious, but achievable roadmaps for prototyping, iteration, testing, and evaluation. Technology partners supporting the accelerator include Amazon and Microsoft.

“We're especially excited to collaborate directly with VA personnel over the next two months and explore the potential for the VA to incorporate our genomic and precision mental health tools into the VA health system,” said Polaris Genomics CEO Charles Cathlin. “With VA providing care for nine million U.S. Veterans, this opportunity will allow our game-changing technologies to help so many in need.”

In November 2022, Polaris and other finalists will present their solutions to key stakeholders, investors, and partners at Demo Day, a live pitch event. Phase 2 will award $11.5 million in prizes:

· Two first-place winners will each receive $3 million,
· Three second-place winners will each receive $1 million,
· Five third-place winners will each receive $500,000.


Polaris Genomics is a woman, Black, and Veteran-led business powerhouse comprising respected thought leaders who aim their passion for public health and medical research toward illuminating precision innovation for the benefit of the greater good.


- TruGen-1™ is a 1000+gene panel that supports genomic research across a spectrum of neuropsychiatric conditions.
- PTS-ID™ genomics test provides objective information to help clinicians confidently and quickly assess patients with cortisol dysregulation associated with PTSD.
- TruNorth Platform™ provides comprehensive utilization of integrated data sources to create a complete picture of patient health and PTSD risk.

Polaris Genomics’ research headquarters, Endeavor Lab offers a variety of testing or assay processing capabilities, ushering a more in-depth understanding of neuropsychiatric conditions, and enabling the development of—and access to—precision diagnostics, health, and wellness.

Learn more about Polaris and its team at, receive their newsletter & stay connected at @PolarisGenomics.

Visit for more information on the challenge. Reporters covering this news can download VA's Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet or visit for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.

Jen Williams
Polaris Genomics
+1 802-355-5072
email us here