Vital Signs - The Analyst's Perspective - March 2015 Issue

Vital Signs - The Analyst's Perspective - March 2015 Issue On March 17, two announcements emerged concerning next-generation sequencing (NGS) informatics companies teaming up to provide complete workflows. DNAnexus and Tute Genomics joined forces, while Cartegenia and N-of-One will integrate their offerings as well.

DNAnexus and Tute Genomics have teamed up to provide an integrated solution for upstream primary analyses and downstream interpretation along the NGS bioinformatics workflow. DNAnexus, based in Mountain View, Calif., provides a configurable cloud-based platform for storage, computing, and NGS primary and secondary data analysis. Tute Genomics, based in Provo, Utah, provides a cloud-based solution for genome annotation and clinical interpretation and reporting. The combined offering streamlines data transfer between the two offerings so end users can easily transfer variant data from DNAnexus to Tute’s platform for downstream analysis.

Cartegnia, based in Cambridge, Mass., offers its Bench Lab NGS platform, which manages NGS data, performs variant calling, and puts variants into patient-related information and phenotypic context. N-of-One provides clinical interpretation services of NGS data. The combined offering is aimed at pathology labs, allowing them to integrate N-of-One’s genomic and tumor intreprations into their Bench Lab NGS platforms.

The Analyst’s Perspective by Christi Bird, Senior Industry Analyst, Life Sciences, North America

Over the past few years, the NGS bioinformatics market has emerged as one of the most competitive and active markets within the life sciences research tools industry. The market first flooded with new market entries, experienced a flurry of acquisitions, and is now witnessing a number of partnerships along the bioinformatics workflow. NGS bioinformatics companies have been very attractive acquisition targets for NGS technology providers, with Illumina, Qiagen, Life Technologies, and Roche all making acquisitions along the workflow. Now that the large sequencing providers have acquired complete NGS bioinformatics workflows, these acquisitions should slow until the next generation of sequencing technologies hit the market.

In the meantime, partnerships between NGS bioinformatics companies providing different offerings along the informatics workflow have picked up. In general, companies either offer primary and secondary analysis tools, or focus on the downstream clinical interpretation and reporting tasks. Thus, partnerships between these two types of companies are ideal, as they can offer customers complete, integrated workflows. Such offerings are particularly advantageous for maintaining consistent data formats moving from basic analyses to downstream interpretation. These solutions can also improve ease of use and save time in data transfer. Beyond the speed and ease factors, these integrated offerings can be validated for security and clinical compliance for standardized and controlled clinical applications. While these partnerships are clear strategies for companies to compete more successfully against the larger sequencing technology providers, they also provide several value adds for NGS users. We expect to see more of these partnerships emerge as companies fight to stay relevant in a market far too small to support so many competitors.

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