January 5, 2018

Genomics Platform Attracts More Investors

George Leopold

Deep learning specialists are continuing to pour cash into biomedical data developers making large genomic data sets available for analysis in applications such as precision medicine.

Among the largest funding rounds is a $58 million investment in DNAnexus Inc., which operates cloud-based platforms for medical research and precision medicine. New investor Foresite Capital led the funding round announced this week along with strategic investor Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Early investors include Google Ventures and TPG Biotech.

Another early investor, genomics database developer WuXi NextCODE of Cambridge, Mass., closed its own $240 million funding round in September.

DNAnexus, Mountain View, Calif., specializes in biomedical informatics and data management. The company’s genomics platform is used by clinical and drug researchers. “The next wave of biomedical insights is coming from cross-institutional collaborations that produce rapidly increasing amounts of multi-omics data,” DNAnexus CEO Richard Daly explained in a statement announcing the funding round.

“The financing enables further development and the launch of our translational medicine solutions, as well as expanding our footprint in cloud-based management of genomic data in clinical trials,” Daly added.

The equity investment supports continued expansion in the clinical trials market along with deployment of the company’s Translational Informatics Suite for pharmaceutical and other research organizations. DNAnexus earlier launched a platform to develop methods aimed at parsing the human micro-biome, the collection of microorganisms living in the human body that include bacteria and other microbes.

DNAnexus also has launched an early access program to Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Brain’s DeepVariant, an AI tool used to analyze huge data sets generated by gene sequencing. It has previouslyworked with Stanford University and Baylor University’s College of Medicine to demonstrate the ability of its platform to process genomes and make the resulting data sets available to researchers.

According to the web site Crunchbase, the latest funding round raises the bioinformatics company’s total venture capital to more than $104.5 million since 2009.

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