Regeneron joins $100M round for DNAnexus and its cloud-computing DNA software
DNAnexus has been accruing capital and customers for over a decade, since the DNA computing company spun out of Stanford in 2009. Now, two years after their last funding round, the company has raised its largest round yet, at $100 million, and secured what may be its most intriguing investor: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Using Amazon Web Services, DNAnexus provides a platform for researchers, regulators and companies to host and analyze their increasingly large sets of genomic data. In 2014, Regeneron was one of the major biotechs to partner with the company. They signed a deal to use DNAnexus’s platform cloud-computing software for translational work at the Regeneron Genetics Center, including by allowing the center to combine de-identified DNA samples with de-identified clinical information from healthcare providers to guide drug discovery.
They are far from the company’s only big-name partner, though. Five years ago, DNAnexus teamed with the FDA to build precisionFDA, a platform to test the accuracy of the growing number of diagnostic genetic tests. It quickly picked up scores of errors. In 2017, they partnered with AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomic Research to help the British Pharma analyze over 2 million genomes through 2027. The same year, it partnered with J&J to launch Mosaic, a computing platform for the microbiome.
In their statement announcing the new round, the company said that their customer base had continued to grow during Covid-19, a pandemic that has both accelerated a shift to virtual work and involved numerous collaborations and data-sharing efforts that might allow scientists to understand and stem the virus. “The trend toward cloud-based data analysis and collaboration is accelerating, and we are at the right place at the right time to future-proof and serve our customers,” CEO Richard Daly said.
The latest round was led by Perceptive Advisors and Northpond Ventures, along with Regeneron, and joined by GV, Foresite Capital, TPG Capital and First Round Capital.
In addition to its direct work with biotechs, the startup has helped seed leadership at other companies. DNAnexus founder Serafim Batzoglou is now the chief data officer at Daphne Koller’s much-watched and highly-backed AI startup insitro. Andrew Carroll, DNAnexus’s former director of science, is now the genomics product lead for Google’s AI efforts.