Google steps in to back a flag bearer in the genomics revolution

The genomics data management startup DNAnexus has won a big name backer. Google Ventures has stepped up to lead a $15 million venture round for the Mountain View, CA-based outfit, with the tech giant simultaneously partnering up on a program to host a massive database as the cash-strapped government host is being forced to relinquish its role.

DNAnexus is billing itself as a lead player in the genomics revolution, creating a central repository for the massive amounts of genomics data being gathered from an increasingly ambitious group of sequencing companies. By putting those data in the "cloud," investigators will have ready access to information that can help shape a new generation of targeted, personalized treatments. And Google plans to carve out a major role in the field as the cost of sequencing drops rapidly.

TPG Biotech co-led the round with contributions from First Round Capital, SoftTech VC, K9 Ventures and Felicis Ventures.

"We are at a pivotal time in the field of genomics, with data growing exponentially," said DNAnexus CEO Andreas Sundquist. "In less than five years, the cost of DNA sequencing will be on par with the cost of other routine lab tests, bringing it in reach of almost everyone in the developed world. DNAnexus will bring together the data and the tools to allow the medical and biotech community to extract meaning."

DNAnexus's "vision of revolutionizing the field of bioinformatics is extremely compelling, and has the potential to change DNA management and analysis. Our experience working with large and complex data sets makes us truly enthusiastic about both the SRA collaboration with Google and the Google Ventures investment," said Krishna Yeshwant, partner, Google Ventures.

- here's the DNAnexus release