Edico sells its first Dragen bioinformatics processor

Edico CEO Pieter van Rooyen

Edico Genome has sold its first Dragen bioinformatics processor, a piece of bio-IT it claims can slash the time taken to turn raw sequencing data into a VCF file for analysis. Prenatal testing business Sequenom ($SQNM) is the first company to buy the technology, which has applications in any setting in which genetic data needs mapping, sorting and deduplicating.

San Diego, CA-based Edico claims its data processor can perform these tasks 60 times faster than a standard server, cutting the time the operations take from 24 hours to 18 minutes. The claims helped Edico raise $10 million in Series A financing in July, a round led by the venture wing of Qualcomm ($QCOM), the company that makes processors for many leading mobile phones. Edico used the cash to move toward commercialization of Dragen.

An early-access program is part of the precommercialization strategy, and this is how Sequenom got to test the processor against its existing system. Edico hopes the program will lead to more business. "We've got a fairly significant number of other customers involved in the early access program already," Edico CEO Pieter van Rooyen told Bio-IT World. "We've got awesome technology, and we're happy to get it out into the hands of customers. We would like to make sequencing cheap."

The leap in sequencing output enabled by Illumina's ($ILMN) HiSeq X Ten and the arrival of national, population-scale genome programs has shifted the focus onto potential downstream bottlenecks, such as the time and money needed to process and analyze data. Edico is pitching itself as a way to clear one of these bottlenecks.

- read the Bio-IT World article
- here's the release