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Google to Partner with, Finance DNA Sequencing Data Company

DNA fragment (Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

DNAnexus Inc., a DNA data management and analysis company in Mountain View, California, says it will collaborate with Google Inc. to provide access to its archive of publicly available DNA data. Also today, DNAnexus announced it has secured $15 million in second-round equity funding from a syndicate led by Google Ventures and life sciences venture firm TPG Biotech.

Through its Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database, DNAnexus provides access to a repository of DNA sequencing data open to public review. In the partnership with Google, the company will offer a Web-based interface that aims to simplify searching and accessing these datasets, and improve their usability for life science research. Google’s Cloud Storage service supports the hosting of the SRA data repository, which was made available to the public today.

DNAnexus’s SRA database is a hosted version of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, which in February announced it would be phasing out its DNA data hosting services. DNAnexus says it aims to provide a long-term hosting solution. The company also hosts data from several commercial DNA sequencing platforms, including Illumina, Pacific Biosciences, and Roche 454, as well as not-for-profit initiatives such as the 1,000 Genomes Project.

Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google Inc., along with life sciences venture company TPG Biotech are leading the second-round funding of DNAnexus.  Other participants in this $15 million round of financing include First Round Capital, SoftTech VC, K9 Ventures, and Felicis Ventures.

Krishna Yeshwant, one of the Google Ventures partners, says “Our experience working with large and complex data sets makes us truly enthusiastic about both the SRA collaboration with Google and the Google Ventures investment.”

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