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Biomarker Database Startup GnuBio Raises $3M

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Earlier this month, Harvard University spinout GnuBio Inc. raised $3 million in an equity offering filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, founded by John Boyce, promises to join together millions of biological samples siloed at institutes around the world using an open source platform.

Prior to GnuBio, Boyce spent several years at Cambridge-based Helicos Biosciences. In June 2010, he joined with Harvard professor of physics and engineering Dave Weitz (founder of RainDance Technologies) and Jessica Tonani, former associate director of product marketing for Affymetrix Inc., to create the company.

Part genome sequencing, part database management and part social network, GnuBio will sell inexpensive, fast and scalable microfluidics-based gene sequencers (the first two prototypes sold for $45,000 each) or sequence customer samples themselves, but after a certain period of time has elapsed, samples are entered into the open source database. As the database collects samples, it will be mined for biomarkers.

When a biomarker is discovered, an alert will be sent to those who have access to the database. When a company wants to license the research, GnuBio will receive a portion of the fee.

Source: Mass High Tech Business News