Illumina said today it will acquire NextBio, in a deal that marries the sequencing giant to a big-data platform company that specializes in analyzing and aggregating the torrent of phenotypic and genomic data generated for research and clinical applications. The price was not disclosed.
Illumina said its NextBio acquisition will broaden its offerings by adding the acquired company’s enterprise-level bioinformatics solutions, allowing the company to facilitate adoption of next-generation sequencing in new as well as current markets.
The deal, which Illumina said is expected to close by the end of October, reflects the growing desire of sequencing equipment providers to expand their customer bases into clinical settings. Qiagen acquired Ingenuity Systems, which specializes in genomic data analysis, back in April for $105 million, and in recent days was reported to be acquiring CLC bio, though the companies have yet to confirm such a deal.
"This agreement with NextBio demonstrates Illumina's unwavering commitment to drive the adoption of sequencing in new markets and vastly improve the genomic information workflow," Illumina president and CEO Jay Flatley said in a statement. “The combination of Illumina's BaseSpace cloud computing environment for next-generation sequencing with NextBio's platform for integrating patient data will allow us to deliver solutions that seamlessly integrate the entire workflow from sample to result."
NextBio's database platforms, part of the trend toward big data, are currently used by researchers and clinicians in more than 50 commercial and academic institutions. NextBio Clinical allows customers to analyze petabytes of data by comparing their experimental results against thousands of published and private data sets.
The platform, backed by Software as a Service (SaaS) enterprise technology, uses a correlation engine designed to help discover new associations by precomputing billions of significant connections between disparate data elements. NextBio Clinical, which passed an independent HIPAA audit last year, is designed for seamless integration with existing clinical and research systems.
Illumina said it will integrate NextBio into its new enterprise informatics business, led by Nick Naclerio, svp of corporate and venture development and general manager of enterprise informatics.
NextBio co-founder Ilya Kupershmidt and CTO Satnam Alag “will continue to provide scientific and technical leadership as part of the new business unit,” Illumina said.