The Stack Archive News Article

Microsoft and Google invest in medical research platform

Wed 3 Jan 2018

Google and Microsoft are among those who have taken part in a fresh investment round in advanced medical research company DNAnexus.

Researchers at the Californian firm help other scientists carry out major biomedical research projects through its cloud platform.

Working in the somewhat-controversial field of genomics, in which researchers are moving towards preventing and curing diseases by altering DNA, the firm employs computational biologists and cloud computing experts.

Now, it has received $58 million (approx. £43 million) in funding, led by venture capital firm Foresite Capital, alongside Microsoft and GV (previously known as Google Ventures). Other investors include TPG Biotech, Claremont Creek Ventures and MidCap Financial.

The investment will be put towards translational informatics, clinical trials, and an increased use of biomedical data. Major research firms use DNAnexus’ cloud platform to get better insights from large genomic and medical datasets.

Jim Tananbaum, founder and CEO of Foresite Capital, said: “DNAnexus is a true pioneer and trusted brand in cloud-based platforms for research and precision medicine.

“As the volume of biomedical information continues to increase, the DNAnexus Platform and upcoming product releases catalyse collaboration, data sharing and machine learning on which the development of precision medicine depends. Foresite Capital is pleased to lead this new financing round.”

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DNAnexus’ CEO, Richard Daly, praised financiers for their investment, noting the advances that will be enabled by the extra cash. “The financing enables further development and the launch of our translational medicine solutions, as well as expanding our footprint in cloud-based management of genomic data in clinical trials,” he said.

“The next wave of biomedical insights is coming from cross-institutional collaborations that produce rapidly increasing amounts of multi-omics data. We are proud of our work dedicated to improving how global research and development organizations leverage large biomedical datasets to develop and deliver precision medicine solutions.”

Operating across the world, DNAnexus serves researchers across multiple industries, including biopharmaceutical, bioagricultural and government.

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