DNAnexus has completed a $200 million financing intended to advance global adoption of its technology, which has a focus on cloud-based analysis of multi-omic data sets.
The company says it will use the financing to accelerate development of its core genomics and multi-omics platform, continue its international growth, and support the integration of new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies and tools.
“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,” DNAnexus CEO Richard Daly said in a statement.
Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, DNAnexus focuses on advancing precision medicine by enabling customers to glean insights from large-scale genomic, multi-omic, and clinical datasets.
The company says its technology allows customers to rapidly analyze complex genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and clinical datasets on a single, secure, and scalable platform. While more than 500 million genomes are expected to have been sequenced by 2025, generating 40 exabytes of data, only a fraction of that amount is now being applied toward drug discovery.
DNAnexus said it has grown to more than 12,000 platform users across 48 countries, with its customers including seven of the top 10 pharmaceutical and eight of the top 10 diagnostics companies. The platform now stores more than 65 petabytes of data—a number that has grown 70% per year since 2015.
DNAnexus offers two main products: Titan and Apollo. Titan focuses on high-throughput genomic data processing to identify variants and mutations and to build up large, high-quality genomic data sets. (Titan is used heavily in the diagnostic space, but it is also used to support discovery.)
Apollo is designed to enable users to derive insight by performing complex studies on large genomic data sets, combining genomic and phenotypic data from clinical trials, medical records, and other sources, to identify and correlate mutations with a specific disease outcome, disease progression, or other factors to aid researchers looking for new drug targets.
“AI democratizes the sequencing field,” John Ellithorpe, PhD, president, DNAnexus, told GEN last year. “You do not have to understand exactly what the error profile from the sequencers looks like. Instead, you may expose enough to the algorithm to have a good distribution of the data, and then the algorithm figures it out.
The financing is the third significant funding raised by DNAnexus since 2019, when it completed a $68 million round, and 2020, when it raised an additional $100 million
The company built and supports the UK Biobank’s Research Analysis Platform, designed to give approved researchers global access to the world’s largest, most comprehensive biomedical database and tools.
DNAnexus has also exclusively partnered with the FDA to develop precisionFDA, a secure, cloud-based, high-performance platform intended to further the standards by for submission of multi-omic data to the agency. precisionFDA is designed to enable access by the agency’s researchers and reviewers, as well as private-sector sponsors, to use the data and tools in a collaborative environment.
Funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG) led the financing round, with participation from existing investors Northpond Ventures, GV, Perceptive Advisors, Innovatus Capital Partners, and Foresite Capital.
DNAnexus is among life sciences and pharma IT companies in which Blackstone Growth has invested. Other such companies include Medable, Precision Medicine Group, Cryoport, and Life Sciences Logistics. In 2018, the firm established Blackstone Life Sciences, a private investment platform capable of investing across the life cycle of companies and products within key life science sectors.
“Blackstone has shown a deep commitment to the healthcare, life sciences, and technology industries with a global network and operating resources,” Daly stated. “Blackstone will be a strong partner as we grow our business and support the new wave of biomedical insights generated by our customers using large-scale clinical, multi-omics data.”
“The DNAnexus Platform enables the life sciences industry to derive critical insights from multi-omic, clinical, and phenotypic data to hasten the development and delivery of novel therapeutics, getting them into the hands of patients who need them more quickly and cost-effectively,” added Ram Jagannath, global head of healthcare for Blackstone. “We’re proud to support the next phase of growth for the company as it continues executing on its mission to improve human healthcare.”