DNAnexus Honored in MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies of 2015

The first half of 2015 has proven to be a strong year for innovative companies in the biomedicine sector. Since 2010, MIT’s Technology Review has been recognizing ambitious companies with innovative technology and sound business models. Companies that grace this list are recognized as industry leaders who have set the agenda in their respective fields for the previous 12 months. DNAnexus is honored to be included in the cohort of 15 biomedicine companies leading the way in the 50 Smartest Companies of 2015.

Tech Review 50 Smartest Companies

Making this year’s list recognizes DNAnexus’ innovations in developing a cloud-based platform for sharing and managing genomic data, while addressing the challenges of security, scalability, and collaboration for organizations around the world who are pursuing genomic-based approaches to health.

While the TR 50 Smartest Companies recognition honors DNAnexus’ accomplishments from last year, we continue to work diligently to advance the global network for genomic medicine. In the past month alone, DNAnexus has announced its involvement in some of the most important work being done today in genomic sequencing.

  • The 3000 Rice Genomes Project (3K RGP) uses DNAnexus to deploy a rapid solution to analyze 3,000 rice genomes dataset and generate more the 100TB of useful data.
  • DNAnexus and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard collaborate to make data analysis methods of the Ebola virus genome sequencing available to the global biomedical community.
  • The Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC) at Baylor College of Medicine and DNAnexus will co-develop HgV, the next generation of the HGSC’s Mercury solutions pipeline, to support precision medicine research and clinical applications.
  • DNAnexus is supporting data management and genomic analysis on the next phase of the ENCODE It’s expected this analysis will require 10 million core-hours of compute and will generate nearly 1 petabyte of raw data over the next 18 months on the DNAnexus platform.

DNAnexus at the Festival of Genomics

FoG BostonWill the inaugural Festival of Genomics (June 22-24, Boston) be like the psychedelic Woodstock Festival of 1969? We don’t know, but we’re definitely going to go and find out.

The Festival of Genomics will include a stellar line-up of speakers, including George Church, J. Craig Venter, Heidi Rehm, Eric Green, Teri Manolio and others, plus posters, workshops, exhibitors, and networking opportunities. This looks like a pretty great program, but Front Line Genomics, the festival’s organizer, promises “A genomics event unlike anything you’ve ever experienced,” which will also feature “a mysterious Genome Dome” and a “Race the Helix” fund-raising event for the Greenwood Genetic Center with prizes for fast runners.

With the festival atmosphere and unusually low attendance pricing (mind-blowing $250), Front Line Genomics has also specifically welcomed non-traditional scientific conference attendees to the event, including patients and the families of patients seeking knowledge of genomics. DNAnexus appreciates this effort to open and diversify the field of genomics and is pleased to be part of the inaugural festival program.

DNAnexus at the Festival of Genomics

Title: Mix and Match: Hybrid Approaches to Structural Variation
When: Tuesday, June 23rd at 10:50am
Where: Tech Forum Stage
Presenter: Andrew Carroll, PhD, Director of Science, DNAnexus

Title: Processing Genomic Data for the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE)
When: Wednesday, June 24th at 4:50pm
Where: Green Stage
Presenter: Narayanan Veeraraghaven, PhD, Lead Programmer Scientist, Baylor College of Medicine

Title: Mix and Match: Hybrid Approaches to Structural Variation
Presenter: Andrew Carroll, PhD, Director of Science, DNAnexus

Visit us in booth #13 at the Festival of Genomics!

F-U-N (Yes, there will be a treadmill on the exhibition floor!)
Come cheer on the DNAnexus team’s runners on Tuesday, June 23 at 11:00am (EST) as they Race the Helix and compete for prizes. 100% of funds raised by this event will go directly to the Greenwood Genetic Center Trust.


Precision Medicine Improves Survival without Increasing Costs

Today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Precision Medicine Series conference in Salt Lake City, Intermountain Precision Genomics Medical Director Lincoln Nadauld, MD, presented research from his recently published abstracts:


Intermountain Cancer Genomics uses DNAnexus as the bioinformatics platform for the center’s next-generation sequencing-based panel to guide targeted treatment in cancer patients. Intermountain’s cancer panel comprehensively profiles tumors and DNA mutations. Instead of blindly throwing chemotherapies at the patient, the Intermountain test finds actionable variants of the tumor sample by which oncologists can prescribe a medication/therapy that directly targets the cancer gene.

Precision Medicine vs Standard Chemotherapy Study

The focus of Dr. Nadauld’s talk was on the results of Intermountain Cancer Genomics clinical cancer genomics program, which was established to assess outcomes and costs with the implementation of precision cancer medicine. They conducted a cohort study of 72 patients with metastatic cancer of diverse subtypes. The outcomes of 36 patients treated with Intermountain’s cancer panel were compared to 36 control patients who received standard chemotherapy.

Doubling Progression Free Survival

The findings from this study were astounding. Patients receiving precision cancer medicine nearly doubled their progression free survival rate (23 weeks vs. 12 weeks).

Extending a patient’s life for 12 weeks may not seem significant, but patients enrolled in the program were very sick, with no promising treatment options remaining. The life of one patient, who was expected to live for only 6 weeks, was extended to 18 months on the targeted therapy. During that time, he was able to see his daughter go on her first date, an experience that would not have been possible without Intermountain Precision Genomics.

No Increase in Cost

Not only did the Intermountain cancer panel enable identification of treatments that significantly improved survival for patients with advanced cancer, but the study also found that costs were essentially identical for precision cancer medicine vs. standard chemotherapy treatment. This defies the common industry perception that precision medicine increases the cost of treatment. Although previously viewed as a final option to consider when other treatments had failed, this information about the cost and effectiveness of precision medicine for cancer treatment has led to service requests and sample submissions from oncologists treating patients at all stages of metastatic disease.

What’s Next?

The goal of Intermountain Cancer Genomics is to allow all patients to have access to precision medicine. Initially piloted internally, Intermountain has now made their genetically targeted therapeutic approach accessible to other providers via their web portal. Intermountain is on a mission to create a huge database to correlate tumor genome data with treatment protocols and clinical outcomes. This database will ultimately be a valuable resource where physicians, clinicians, and researchers can learn from each other.

DNAnexus Role in this Story

Intermountain Cancer Genomics uses DNAnexus as the bioinformatics platform for its next-generation sequencing-based panel that produces the information required to guide targeted treatment selection. The DNAnexus platform enables Intermountain Cancer Genomics to run its bioinformatics pipeline in the cloud, providing unmatched computational power, cost, scalability and access to genetic testing and data. DNAnexus worked together with Intermountain to develop a cloud-based bioinformatics pipeline that translates raw data into interpretable variants. With DNAnexus, Intermountain can scale up quickly and is able to share its cancer testing tools and datasets securely outside of its healthcare group, offering a network of cancer resources to physicians and patients everywhere while advancing genomic discoveries. Read more.