Maverix Biomics Closes $6 Million Series A Round
News Jan 07, 2014
Maverix Biomics, Inc. announced that it has closed a $6 million Series A funding round. The company’s pioneering flagship offering, the Maverix Analytic Platform, simplifies complex big data analytics for life science researchers; integrating context-based data exploration, interactive visualization, secure data management, and affordable long-term storage in an easy-to-use cloud-based solution.
The financing was led by one of Silicon Valley’s oldest and most prestigious venture capital firms, Asset Management Ventures, and two prominent Silicon Valley information technology investors, Andreas Bechtolsheim and Andrew Yang. Bechtolsheim was a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Granite Systems, and Kealia, and is currently Chairman of the Board at Arista Networks. Perhaps most notably, Bechtolsheim was one of the original angel investors in Google in 1998. Yang was cofounder of Apache Design (now a division of ANSYS) and is currently an active entrepreneur and investor, with a portfolio including Anagram, CADMOS Design, and Mojave.
At the close of the round, Louis G. Lange MD PhD, General Partner at Asset Management Ventures and Senior Advisor at Gilead Sciences, and Andrew Yang PhD, Vice President and General Manager of ANSYS, joined the Maverix board. The Series A funds will be used to continue commercial momentum and rapidly expand usage of the Maverix Analytic Platform, which has already gained market traction and is generating revenue from a number of influential researchers and scientists in pharmaceutical, molecular diagnostics, clinical, agricultural, and academic research settings. Maverix also recently announced a co-marketing alliance with Qiagen to streamline the interpretation of raw next-generation gene expression data into meaningful and actionable insights.
“Maverix is a great example of a portfolio company where Asset Management can offer its expertise in both life sciences and information technology. We have been consistently impressed with the company's leadership, scientific, and software development expertise,” said Dr. Lange. “As high-throughput sequencing becomes a mainstream research and clinical technology, bioinformatics must move from the computer room directly into the hands of life scientists, creating a hundred-fold increase in potential customers that Maverix is uniquely poised to serve.”
“I have been very impressed with the Maverix team and their ability to differentiate the Maverix Analytic Platform from other bioinformatics solutions,” said Dr. Yang. “The Maverix value proposition is appealing to scientists who lack computer programming skills and cannot or do not want to invest in the IT infrastructure necessary to process and understand the vast amounts of raw genomic data resulting from large sequencing projects. This market dynamic is analogous to my previous success in developing software solutions for the electronic design automation and semiconductor industries."
“It’s both exciting and gratifying to have two pre-eminent investor groups from the life sciences and information technology arenas come together to back Maverix,” said Dave Mandelkern, Maverix co-founder and CEO. “We’ve already gained a significant amount of momentum, credibility and revenue in the marketplace and this round of funding is a huge endorsement of our vision as a leader in NGS gene expression analytics.”
Researchers using the Maverix Analytic Platform experience a simple, collaborative user environment that allows them to upload their own data, initiate their own analyses, and put their results in context with other public and private data sources. Leveraging the power of proven, open source analytic tools that previously have been available only to bioinformatics experts, researchers are able to immediately perform analyses with reliable, scientifically recommended configurations, as validated and cited in peerreviewed journal publications. Visualization is provided through a variety of integrated graphical tools, including the UCSC Genome Browser, the world’s most widely used genome browser.
“UC Santa Cruz has been one of the leading centers for genomics research for over a decade. Maverix has really benefited from the talents of UCSC graduates, as they continue a tradition of creating tools and resources used around the world,” said Todd Lowe, Ph.D., Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, and co-founder of Maverix. “The company is building on this know-how to directly address the needs of a much broader audience of scientists new to NGS analytics, as well as those who want to scale up their analytics by orders of magnitude.”
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.