DNA Sequencing Tech Lands Stratos Genomics $20M

Jack Murtha
JANUARY 11, 2018
stratos genomics,fisk ventures,dna sequencing,hca news
Images courtesy of Stratos Genomics

Stratos Genomics is nearing the end of a $20 million week just as the company’s DNA sequencing platform is nearing market.

Fisk Ventures made the investment, which Stratos plans to use to cover the “final system development” of its proprietary sequencing technology, according to the announcement. Through that effort, the company will capitalize on its advances in biochemistry. Those breakthroughs are what catapulted the Sequencing by Expansion product to operate at “commercially compelling levels of read length, accuracy, process speed, and workflow efficiency,” the organization said.

“We are excited that our vision of introducing a next-generation sequencing platform to the healthcare and research markets is approaching realization,” Mark Kokoris, president and CEO of Stratos Genomics, said in a statement. “Our recent development breakthroughs put us in a position to evaluate a number of strategic options and open discussions with partners who share our vision.”

Sequencing by Expansion is a fourth-generation DNA sequencing system that Stratos claims is “elegant” and “low-cost.” The technology aims to simplify workflow and speed up the time it takes to go from sample to measurement, taking less than 1 hour. What’s more, Stratos notes, the platform can handle anything from small-scale sequencing work to heavy-duty whole genome systems.

This is not the first notable cash influx for the Seattle, Washington-based company. In 2015, it announced the end of its Series B funding round, which closed at $30 million after Stratos achieved a “major technical milestone” surrounding expandable nucleotides. Prior to that, the pharma company Roche had invested in the up-and-comer.

Stratos, of course, is not alone in this regard. A crush of venture capitalists has descended upon all things genomics, plugging money into company after company, week after week. Which part of the sector that a given start-up targets matters little, as direct-to-consumer testing outfits and diagnostics companies have found deals on par with those of cloud-based genomic analysis firms and others.

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