Google Ventures backs DNAnexus' $15M round for R&D cloud platform

Google Ventures has joined a group of investors seeding DNAnexus' cloud-computing services for biomedical researchers with a $15 million C round.

Mountain View, CA-based DNAnexus bills itself as a centralized hub for sorting through the virtual mountain of genetic data that is being generated, working with researchers hunting down the causes of complex diseases in search of new therapies. That's right down Google Ventures' alley. The round was also backed by Claremont Creek Ventures, TPG Biotech, and First Round Capital.

Just weeks ago DNAnexus joined with Amazon ($AMZN) and Baylor College of Medicine to update researchers on a huge sequencing program aimed at understanding the genetics involved in heart disease and aging. Hundreds of scientists have sequenced thousands of genomes and exomes, creating 430 terabytes of data, which the consortium provides tools and cloud services to analyze in search of the genetic causes of diseases.

It's no coincidence that Google has been active in the field of drug R&D related to aging. The tech behemoth captured the biopharma industry's attention recently when it announced that former Genentech chief Art Levinson would be helming a new venture dubbed Calico, which will hunt down transformational therapies that could substantially alter the effects of the aging process. Analyzing new genetic data like the kind that DNAnexus manages appears to be central to the new company's plans.

"The next wave of insights in genetics comes from multi-institutional collaborative efforts producing huge amounts of data. DNAnexus has created a system where large enterprises, laboratories, and individuals can collaborate more efficiently using modern cloud technologies," said Krishna Yeshwant, Google Ventures general partner, in a statement. "DNAnexus is changing how global biomedical research and development markets manage DNA data and analytic infrastructures."

- here's the release