Bioinformatics company Spiral Genetics announced Tuesday that it has raised $3 million in a Series A round led by DFJ. In addition to the funding, the company also announced its partnership with Omicia, as well as the addition of DFJ’s Rachel Pike to its board of directors.
The problem that Spiral Genetics is looking to solve is that of data overload. As you might imagine, the human genome comes with a lot of data baggage. To be specific, the human genome has three billion base pairs—that’s six billion DNA data points, and the raw data from Illumina machines can be overwhelming for biologists and other scientists to deal with.
Spiral Genetics offers a service that promises to organize the data and correct any machine-made errors, all within three hours. For targeted requests, turnaround time is as quick as 40 minutes.
And the software isn’t just limited to human DNA. It supports a variety of species, including the mouse, rat, fruit fly, round worm, as well as maize, yeast, and Ecoli, which means the service will likely appeal to a broad array of users across the sciences. This should give it a leg up in the competition against similar companies like DNAnexus.
"Innovations in DNA sequencing have led to an explosion of data, which presents an enormous market opportunity," said Rachel Pike, in a statement. "These developments are only accelerating and will have real and lasting implications on drug development, R&D in agriculture, and biological production of chemicals and fuels. Spiral Genetics is a solution that will both manage and draw insight from these data, enabling the industry to keep up with constantly-accelerating technological progress."
The company plans to use the new funds from this round to expand its bioinformatics engineering team, ramp up its sales and marketing efforts, and accelerate product development.
“As more academic researchers and agro-genomic and pharmaceutical companies increase their use of genomic data, there’s no doubt that a large-scale, focused bioinformatics toolkit to process and analyze genomic data will be vital. We are excited to be at the forefront of developing new solutions to these challenges,” said Spiral Genetics CEO Adina Mangubat.