BioNano Genomics Raises $53 Million Series C

Published: Nov 20, 2014

BioNano Genomics Raises $53 Million Series C

November 20, 2014

By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Editor

Genome mapping company BioNano Genomics, Inc. said Thursday that it has completed a $53 million Series C financing with investment from Novartis Venture Fund, Federated Kaufmann Fund, Monashee Investment Management and existing investors Domain Associates, Battelle Ventures and Gund Investment Corporation.

As part of the deal, Darren Cai, executive director at Legend Capital, and Campbell Murray, managing director at Novartis Venture Fund, will join San Diego-based BioNano's board of directors. The company said it will use the money on increased commercialization efforts for its Irys platform, as well as development of next-generation platforms and technology innovations.

"BioNano's Irys System enables comprehensive detection of structural variations (SVs), which makes up a substantial portion of genome differences among individuals,” said Cai in a statement. “The ability to robustly discover SVs is recognized as an essential tool for applications of genomic information in personalized medicine and diagnostics. We see genome mapping as a large, high-growth market that complements and broadens the sequencing market."

Structural variations are being studied closely because they often contain genetic insertions, deletions, inversions, translocations and repeats that can help scientists better understand diseases and how organisms develop. They have been termed the "inaccessible genome," because they are often missed by the existing repertoire of genomics tools.

BioNano's Irys System is a long-read genome mapping solution that reveals the location, order and orientation of functionally relevant components of the genome, including the size and location of long repeats and integration sites, which are often implicated in complex diseases such as cancer. So far, research has shown that Irys finds all types of structural variations in a single assay, without prior knowledge of the variants, a massive shortcut in a field that previously took months or years to map genomes.

That’s why venture capitalists are so interested in BioNano, said some of the VCs involved in today’s funding.

"We saw that BioNano has the only commercial genome mapping system that can systematically analyze clinically important SVs, including DNA rearrangements and recombinations, and were inspired to provide capital and expertise to BioNano,” said Murray.

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