DNAnexus raised $15 million in a second round of financing led by Google Ventures and TPG Biotech, and separately announced a deal with Google that will allow DNAnexus to provide a freely accessible web-based interface for searching and accessing datasets in the public Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database. Through the deal with Google, the latter’s Google Cloud Storage will support hosting of the SRA data repository.
The SRA has represented the main depot for data generated by DNA sequencing initiatives, including all primary sequence data for NIH-sponsored next-generation sequencing projects. However, DNAnexus explains, in February the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which represents the major U.S. source of public genomic data, announced that it would phase out hosting support of the SRA in its current form due to federal funding cuts.
The firm says its deal with Google will secure a new cloud-based repository that represents a mirrored site of the NCBI SRA website, and provide access to all publicly accessible datasets for specific studies, experiments, samples, and runs. DNAnexus claims its hosted SRA website will offer an intuitive interface for identifying and browsing datasets based on a range of query options, and users will also be able to download sequence read files—including all sequences from the 1,000 Genomes Project—for analysis using their own tools. “Combining Google’s massively scalable data storage infrastructure with DNAnexus’ expertise in web-based interfaces, genomics data analysis, and visualization, researchers can quickly access the world’s genomic information from any browser,” claims Eric Morse, head of business development at Google Cloud Storage.
Users of the DNAnexus SRA website will in addition be able to import SRA datasets into the commercial DNAnexus platform, to enable additional functions such as mapping, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, variant analysis, and data visualization, the firm adds.