Ex-Yahoo CEO backs genomics big data startup Bina

Bina Technologies just received some capital from the tech world to bolster its DNA data analysis platform. Jerry Yang, the co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo ($YHOO), has backed Redwood City, CA-based Bina through his venture outfit, AME Cloud Ventures.

Bina founder and CEO Narges Bani Asadi

AME and Columbus Nova Technology Partners were leading contributors of $1.75 million in additional financing for Bina, bringing the company's Series B round to $8 million. Sierra Ventures led the initial $6.25 million raise for Bina in March, and the influx of capital has supported research of the company's platform to analyzing "big data" in genomics and hires of tech veterans with backgrounds in DNA sequencing and tech.

DNA sequencers have decoded thousands of genomes, providing mountains of raw data for scientists to explore. While sequencing a genome has become fast and cheap, closing in on $1,000 in less than a day, analysis of the DNA data takes weeks or months and costs tens of thousands of dollars. Founded by a crew from Stanford and Berkeley, Bina emerged in 2011 to advance software and hardware that aim to reduce the cost and increase the speed of genomic data analysis.

"As the global scientific community seeks new approaches for the treatment and prevention of disease, large-scale genomic analysis has quickly become a foundational asset in this new era of data-driven medicine," Yang, who exited from the board of web giant Yahoo last year, said in a statement.

Scientists have clamored for efficient methods of identifying disease triggers and risks in the vast human DNA code, which consists of 6 billion bases that hold promise in lighting the way to new drug targets and markers for disease diagnostics. Bina, led by CEO Narges Bani Asadi, is among a bevy of startups such as SV Bio, Personalis and Knome with new approaches to interpreting genomic data to advance personalized healthcare.

- here's the release

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