Focus: Cloud-based genomics management and analysis platform
Funding: Google Ventures, TPG Biotech
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
CEO: Andreas Sundquist
Keep an eye on DNAnexus. The startup will begin to release a new platform, which has been described as an App Store of sorts for genomics, this summer. Fueled by a $15 million Series B round from Google Ventures and TPG Biotech, DNAnexus has spent much of the past year on the platform, designing a cloud-supported system that allows users to deploy their own or third-party tools and integrate them into their research, CEO Andreas Sundquist told FierceBiotechIT.
DNAnexus provides the platform, other parties can build and deploy their own apps. This concept has worked wonders in consumer tech for Apple ($AAPL) and Google ($GOOG). Planted in Silicon Valley, DNAnexus has been attracting talent from companies like Google as well as Facebook and eBay to provide a platform for organizations that want to work with DNA sequencing data without the hassle of managing the large amounts of information internally on their own servers.
DNAnexus has bet heavily on cloud computing to support genomics research, building services for genomics researchers with public cloud support from Amazon Web Services. One big concern among biopharma R&D groups with cloud computing is security. DNAnexus has taken the industry's security concerns seriously, recently hiring Marc Olesen, a former exec at security tech giant McAfee, as the company's chief operating officer.
Though he does not name names, Sundquist says his company has been working with certain pharma and device outfits to steer development of his startup's platform to suit their needs. Yet he has publicly revealed collaborations with the University of California-San Francisco and Pennsylvania's Geisinger Health System, which wants to use DNAnexus' platform in support of its clinical whole-genome sequencing program.
DNAnexus' platform could face some competition. For instance, Illumina ($ILMN), the global leader in DNA sequencing systems, aims to elbow in on the genome data analysis game with BaseSpace Apps. San Diego-based Illumina's planned app store, scheduled for availability in September, offers bioinformatics groups a platform on which to build and sell apps that slice and dice genomics data from Illumina's sequencing systems.