7.8K Shares Share In March, Microsoft announced a $10 billion funding round led by private equity firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Microsoft’s funding round comes on the heels of a series of announcements from the company, including the acquisition of Bioinformatics Corp., the acquisition for $50 billion of Cambridge-based Illumina, and the purchase of BioTek, which is working on a system that would make it possible to read human DNA.
According to The New York Times, Microsoft has acquired BioTec, the biotech company behind the Gene-X technology that enables machines to analyze genes.
The Times noted that BioTech is also working on an artificial intelligence (AI) system that will eventually be able to read genetic material from people’s DNA.
The move follows an announcement last year by Microsoft that it would be investing $500 million in a company called Sequenom that would create a database of the genetic sequences of humans.
The company says the data will be used to build artificial intelligence software that will “analyze millions of human genomes.”
Microsoft acquired Sequenos software for its Windows Phone 8 operating system in October 2016.
Microsoft has also announced that it has entered into a strategic agreement with Sequenia to develop new DNA sequencing technology.
“We’re pleased to be working with Sequoia to accelerate the development of this innovative technology,” said Microsoft COO Raj Shah.
Microsoft’s announcement of a $1 billion investment in Genomics and Genomics Inc. came a few weeks after the company also announced the acquisition and sale of BioMed Technologies, a genetic sequencing company.
Genomics was founded in 1999 and its current focus is on commercialization of its sequencing technology to help healthcare organizations, researchers, and drug companies develop new drugs.
The acquisition of Sequenys technology was announced just days before Microsoft announced the sale of Genomics to Illumina for $2.8 billion.
“With Genomics’ technology, we can use it to make our own sequencing technology, enabling us to sequence genomes in the lab,” Shah said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that it had bought the genetic sequencing business BioTectics, which has a focus on analyzing human DNA in order to create “genetic-enhanced drugs.”
“Our strategy is to use our deep understanding of DNA to make the next generation of medicines, and we see this technology as a key element of our efforts to build an open and collaborative scientific community,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the company’s quarterly earnings call.
Nadella also announced Microsoft’s plans to sell BioTep and BioTev, a new gene-sequencing company.
Genomics has a number of competitors in the DNA sequencing business.
Biomedical Advanced Surgical Technologies, which also develops a technology to analyze genetic material, recently announced it was acquiring BioTeflon Imaging, a company that specializes in DNA sequencing.
Meanwhile, Genomics is also in talks to acquire BioTex, a leading genetic testing company, according to Bloomberg.
Gene-X is a gene-reading technology that aims to replace existing testing methods, which are typically done on samples of human tissue and are expensive to analyze.
The technology is currently being used in medical imaging to help doctors diagnose diseases.
BioTec is currently developing a technology that uses human genes to analyze genomic information and is hoping to be able turn this technology into a commercial product.
With Genomes’ ability to read and understand DNA, the company hopes to make it a viable alternative to existing methods for identifying and treating disease.
Read more at The New American