WuXi invests $15M in DNAnexus to fuel push into China

DNAnexus has snagged $15 million from WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) in a Series D round. The deal will see DNAnexus bring its cloud-based genomics platform to China and pair it with WuXi NextCODE's offering.

CRO WuXi made the investment as part of its full-throttle push into genomics, during which it has bought a HiSeq X Ten from Illumina ($ILMN), acquired NextCODE for $65 million in cash and made an investment in DNAnexus. The NextCODE buyout and DNAnexus alliance are intended to give WuXi the IT framework to handle and make sense of the piles of data it hopes to generate on its HiSeq X Ten for clients. Users can access the genome analysis tools with which NextCODE spun out of Amgen's ($AMGN) deCODE genetics and DNAnexus' cloud system on the same platform.

"We see this transforming the way large-scale sequence data is applied, underpinning virtual diagnostics enterprises, breakthroughs in rare disease and the rapid advance of more targeted, personalized medicine," WuXi NextCODE COO Hannes Smarason said in a statement.

Mountain View, CA-based DNAnexus last raised cash in January 2014, at which time it pocketed $15 million in a Series C round led by Claremont Creek Ventures, Google Ventures, TPG Biotech and First Round Capital. The latest investment gives DNAnexus the cash to go after China--which it estimates houses 20% of the world's sequencing capacity--and puts its capabilities in front of WuXi's clients. WuXi is a relative newcomer to genomics, but has a history of successfully expanding into new service areas and has initiated a spending surge to finance the initiative.

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