14 April 2023
Joe Wilson By Joe Wilson

Bioinformatic Start-Ups Taking the Lead.

The bioinformatics space has seen unrivalled development in recent years, with technology being faster, cheaper, and more accurate than ever before and continued advancements across digital health spaces. Perhaps the most exciting movement to come out of this space is the increasing domination of bioinformatic start-ups as their creativity and innovation builds proven efficacy and respect in the sector. I explored future trajectories with some of the most inspiring bioinformatic start-ups to watch in 2023, and they had a lot to share.

Innovators Leading The Way.

Seqera Labs

Launched as an open-source software project in 2013 to develop the Nextflow programming language for scientific data analysis, Seqera now have bases in Barcelona and Toronto with a user base of 8000 researchers globally accessing the NextFlow Tower, an intuitive command post allowing secure and collaborative working on genomic data analysis at scale.

With the likes of AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Oxford Nanopore, and Invitae amongst their users and researchers, Seqera Labs have earned the trust and respect of giants in the sector, and are quickly emerging as a household name in life sciences research. Customer applications of Nextflow range from personalised immunogenic vaccines to new pandemic diagnostics, genetic surveillance, and genetically-targeted treatments helping usher in a new era of personalised medicine.

With an expectation of rapidly decreasing costs for sequencing, storage, and analysis, increased cloud-infrastructure adoption, and a greater need for collaboration, Seqera Labs have clear goals in mind for 2023.  

We’ve been aggressive in ensuring that Nextflow pipelines are easily portable across clouds without modification…Today we support multiple integration methods with all major cloud services [and we] are making similar investments in optimizing data management for scientific workflows.” 

Seqera Labs are also excited to explore the application of Tower to various aspects of machine learning, alongside continued development of the nf-core community;

From a researcher's perspective, this is where the real value lies. In addition to the 76 pipelines developed by nf-core community members, there are also 800+ pre-written modules. Researchers can leverage freely available nf-core tools to assemble these pre-built modules to suit their needs, dramatically reducing development time.” 

Seqera now have bases in Barcelona and Toronto with a user base of 8000 researchers globally and more than 150 leading pharma and biotech firms accessing the Nextflow Tower, an intuitive command post allowing secure and collaborative working on genomic data analysis at scale.

Sequencing.com

Making high-quality 30x whole genome sequencing tests accessible to more people, Sequencing.com has advanced personal genomics by investing in its bioinformatic team to develop one-of-a-kind health insight discovery tools. Founded in 2014 by Dr. Brandon Colby following his book, 'Outsmart Your Genes' Sequencing.com has developed the world's largest DNA report marketplace and DNA search engine. Combining an expert team of US medical doctors, geneticists, bioinformatic experts, and software developers, Sequencing.com is part of the trend that between 100 million and 2 billion human genomes within the next 5 years.

The company's product range includes whole genome sequencing, disease analysis, bioinformatic pipelines, and a marketplace of over 100 reports from 15 partners, with speed, efficiency, and security at the heart of everything they do. Looking ahead to the future, Colby notes that:

we are working in an emerging space. Research and technology will improve yearly [and] enable us to create more interactive digital experiences so consumers can analyze and interpret their DNA across various use cases."

As the trajectory of decreasing sequencing costs and greater access to secure cloud databases continues, Sequencing.com looks set to grow further over the coming years.

The Bioinformatics CRO

Founded in 2018 by Dr T. Grant Belgard, The Bioinformatics CRO, Inc is a fully remote computational biology company, providing genomic analytics, genetic target diligence, biomarker identification and patient stratification for academics and small to midsize biotechs.

Director of Operations, Justin Duplantis, notes that, whilst funding has been difficult within the bioinformatic biotech industry, they have been able to take advantage of companies looking to outsource their bioinformatic assistance at a lower cost than developing an internal team.  

Looking towards a climate where funding remains sparse but processing costs continue to decrease, it seems The Bioinformatics CRO, Inc will continue to thrive as a trusted team of experts offering comprehensive bioinformatic support to a range of biotechs.  

Ganymede

A cloud infrastructure provider purpose-built for the life sciences, Ganymede holds claim as the only whole-lab data integration and automation platform. Integration of any lab instrument, app, or pipeline is possible with their simple, bioinformatics-inspired, low-code platform, giving scientists the ability to automate processes using cloud-controlled data flows.

In a space of accelerated innovation and greater demands against limited funding resources, their founding scientist Dr. Alan Chramiec notes that:

pressure to do more with fewer resources is greater than ever, [and] today’s scientists require a data stack that they can truly stake their research on - even in the most uncertain times. Ganymede is the “glue” that connects existing bioinformatics pipelines with the rest of the lab’s analytical instruments and scientific apps, giving you a comprehensive understanding of your data”.

To continue its promising trajectory and deliver sustained and reliable bioinformatics solutions for scientists, the Ganymede team is taking their newly secured Series A funding to tackle a comprehensive range of goals for 2023.

They’re focused on continued investment in the buildout of new platform features with a focus on data accessibility, analysis, visualization and automation, whilst also expanding the self-service features of the platform. Ganymede is set to confirm several high-profile collaborations later this year and is also focused on the continued development of the biotech SaaS community. 

What's next?

There's no denying it's an exciting time to be involved with these Bioinformatics innovators. Their impressive technologies, research and approach to market certainly make them ones to watch for the ever-changing industry right now.

Are you interested in learning more about any of these companies, or discussing the topics covered here? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a message at joe.wilson@charltonmorris.com or connect with me on LinkedIn to chat!

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Joe Wilson

Joe collaborates with candidates and clients within the life sciences industry. He works closely with senior consultants to improve his understanding of specific markets and provides solutions to recruitment needs across the globe

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