Bionano frames $90M BioDiscovery buy as way to expand genomics analysis

dna, genomics

dna, genomics


Bionano Genomics, which has commercialized a genome analysis platform used in laboratories across the world, is acquiring software firm BioDiscovery in a $90 million deal intended to broaden the reach of its technology, the company announced Tuesday.

The technology of San Diego-based Bionano technology offers what’s called optical genome mapping, which is an analysis of the genome that reveals structural variations in the DNA of one person compared to another. These structural variations can cause disease. Scientists and clinicians use the technology to find and identify these variations as a way of better understanding a disease, or to find targets for potential new drugs and diagnostics.

The Bionano platform, called Saphyr, is comprised of an instrument, a consumable chip that holds a sample, and software that provides structural variation analysis. The publicly traded company reported total global revenue of $8.5 million last year.

The software of El Segundo, California-based BioDiscovery collects various pieces of genetic data, providing a full picture that can be analyzed and interpreted. Like Bionano, BioDiscovery has customers across the world. According to a Bionano investor presentation, BioDiscovery’s 2020 revenue was $3.6 million, and the 25-year-old company is profitable.

Bionano said in the presentation that it sees software as the key to bringing its optical genome mapping offering to more users. While Bionano specializes in optical genome mapping, clinical research labs want data analyses across platforms. BioDiscovery’s software, called NxClinical, can integrate optical genome mapping with next-generation sequencing, as well as data from arrays. The plan is to integrate Bionano’s optical genome mapping data into a commercially available version of NxClinical.

“Integration of all genomic data types into one software solution can make [optical genome mapping] ubiquitous,” Bionano said in the presentation.

The financial terms of the BioDiscovery acquisition break down to $50 million in cash and $40 million in Bionano stock. An additional $10 million cash is tied to the achievement of undisclosed commercial milestones. Vesting of a portion of the equity part of the transaction is tied to key employees of BioDiscovery staying with the company; part of the cash payment is tied to the achievement of full integration of optical genome mapping data into the BioDiscovery platform.

The companies expect the transaction to close by Oct. 22. When it does, Soheil Shams, BioDiscovery’s founder and CEO, will join Bionano as chief informatics officer.

Photo: iLexx, Getty Images

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