A single petabyte of data is estimated to be the equivalent of 500 billion pages of standard text. It’s safe to say, then, that with access to more than 65 petabytes of genomic sequencing data, DNAnexus and its data analytics tools could provide a pretty powerful boost to drug and diagnostic developers around the world.
That’s the California-based company’s aim, and the selling point that recently garnered it a funding round totaling $200 million.
The financing came from several of DNAnexus’ existing investors, including Alphabet’s venture arm GV, Northpond Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Innovatus Capital Partners and Foresite Capital. The round was led by Blackstone Growth.
“The funding enables us to accelerate our product roadmap to meet the global demand for technologies harnessing the power of biomedical data and driving precision medicine forward,” Richard Daly, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.
Stops on that roadmap include DNAnexus’ plans to expand the international reach of its data analytics platform. It’ll also continue building out the technology, adding new artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based tools to improve its analytical abilities.
The platform uses those and other tools to rapidly sift through massive compendiums of genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and clinical data. It’s marketed to drug and diagnostic test makers, who can use the resulting analyses to improve their R&D efforts and, in turn, fine-tune their precision medicine offerings.
So far, according to DNAnexus, the platform is used by seven of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies and eight of the 10 biggest diagnostics developers—to single out just a few of its more than 12,000 total users located in four dozen countries across the globe.
In addition to its own platform—which has reached that 65-plus petabyte total through consistent growth of about 70% each year since 2015—DNAnexus also shares its analytics tools with the UK Biobank and the FDA. The U.S. regulator, for example, uses DNAnexus’ technology to power the precisionFDA platform, which allows researchers, reviewers and private-sector sponsors to access and more closely examine genomic data included in FDA submissions.
The $200 million fundraise significantly pumps up DNAnexus’ valuation, with Bloomberg reporting that the startup is now valued at about $600 million.
The round brings DNAnexus’ lifetime financing total to nearly $475 million since it spun out of Stanford University more than a decade ago. Prior to this month’s haul, it raked in another $100 million in June 2020 from a group of new and existing investors that was led by Perceptive Advisors and Northpond Ventures and also included GV, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and more.