10x Genomics acquires epigenetic startup Epinomics in first M&A

3D medical background with DNA strand
Epinomics was founded by the developers of ATAC-seq technology, for profiling the compounds and proteins that attach to DNA and turn specific genes on or off. (kirstypargeter/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

10x Genomics has acquired its first startup since coming out of stealth just over three years ago. The company bought epigenetics startup Epinomics and plans to add its technology to its single-cell sequencing product set to launch by the end of the year, aimed at biotech researchers and pharma companies.

Backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Felicis Ventures, SVAngel and StartX, the Silicon Valley-based Epinomics was founded by the developers of ATAC-seq technology, or assays for transposase accessible chromatin. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Their work offers an approach for profiling the biological mechanisms of the epigenome: the compounds and proteins that attach to DNA, turning genes on or off to direct the production of specific proteins within a cell.

“With Epinomics joining 10x Genomics, single cell epigenetics will now be available to a broader base of investigators across academic and commercial organizations,” said ATAC-seq co-inventor Howard Chang, scientific co-founder of Epinomics and professor of dermatology and genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine.

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Epinomics’ patent portfolio, including foundational intellectual property relating to ATAC-seq, complements 10x’s existing portfolio covering high-throughput, single-cell applications for ATAC-seq and other epigenetic applications, 10x said in a statement.

In April, 10x raised $50 million in a series D funding round, bringing its VC funding total to more than $180 million. The Pleasanton, California-based company emerged with a way to construct long DNA sequences from the output of Illumina’s short-read machines.