Cambridge-based PetaGene produces software to address the growing data management problems within genomics – that branch of biology that focuses on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes.
Genomic data offers many medical benefits, giving researchers insights on the genetic origins of certain diseases, enabling them to discover new treatments, and to practice precision medicine. However sequencing the human genome produces enormous volumes of data, which continues to grow rapidly – and is expensive to store. One thousand petabytes of genomic data are already being stored worldwide, and the aggregate cost of genomic storage is expected to grow from €400 million today to €4.3 billion by 2021.
PetaGene’s software enables the compression of huge amounts of genomic data without compromising access or data quality, while reducing storage costs and data transfer times. Additionally, there is no need to decompress the data, as the software does it automatically.
The startup has attracted €1.8 million in funding after signing a large contract with a major pharmaceutical company, bringing its total funding to €2.8 million. Romulus Capital led the investment round with participation from other investors based in Silicon Valley and London, including Entrepreneur First backed by Greylock Partners.
Founded in 2015, PetaGene will use the new funding to grow its technical team and its global sales team, as well as to expand its product offerings.
The startup’s customers include pharmaceutical companies, academic research institutions, hospitals, and genomic sequencing companies.
Krishna K. Gupta, founder and general partner of Romulus Capital, commented: “I was impressed by what part of the genomics value chain PetaGene was targeting with its best-in-class compression software when we made our initial investment in 2017. Since then, their ability to successfully develop their product for the cloud and the strong interest from potential customers have only served to reinforce our view.” ‘
“PetaGene offer powerful solutions for a growing industry and we’re delighted to support them as they play their part in democratizing personalized medicine,” added Gupta.