Zetta Genomics

Cambridge spin-out Zetta Genomics has raised £2.5 million in new seed funding from Nina Capital, APEX Medical and Cambridge Enterprise to advance its genomic data management technology and power the discovery and delivery of precision medicine at scale.

XetaBase is built on the open-source OpenCB platform, the first proven big data system optimised for genomic data. The result of a five-year collaboration between Genomics England and the University of Cambridge, OpenCB enables genotypes to be stored in a database.

The lead developer of OpenCB, Ignacio Medina, is Head of the Computational Biology Lab at the University of Cambridge and Zetta Genomics’ founder and co-developer of XetaBase.

XetaBase allows researchers and clinicians to securely store, easily access, and dynamically interrogate vast and increasing volumes of genomic data – on demand. The technology brings genome-enabled discovery, healthcare analytics, and population research into the lab – and prognostics, diagnostics, and therapeutics into the clinic.

Zetta Genomics founder, Ignacio Medina said, “Zetta Genomics re-imagines data to deliver a dynamic platform fit for the fast-emerging, fast-scaling, multi-petabyte environment. In liberating genomic data – placing its power into the hands of researchers and clinicians – we will drive precision medicine’s transformation into mainstream healthcare and life-changing patient benefit.”

The seed funding round comes as genome-enabled precision medicine moves from the niche to the mainstream. The UK has led the world with its new Genomics Medicine Service, making testing routine within the publicly funded NHS. These and other population level initiatives are predicted to see 60 million genomes sequenced to 2025 and 100 million by the end of the decade.

Marc Subirats, Partner at lead investor, Nina Capital, said, “Genomic medicine has enjoyed explosive growth in the past five years, but this is set to be eclipsed in the next decade. XetaBase is an enabling technology – empowering virtually every research field and clinical application. As genomic sequencing moves from the hundreds of thousands to the hundreds of millions, Nina Capital is confident that Zetta Genomics’ growth will both drive and be driven by rapid advances in precision medicine.”

Market and precision medicine opportunities have helped Zetta Genomics to create an extensive, growing and valuable partnership network with organisations such as Fujitsu, Future Perfect Healthcare, Genomics England, Microsoft, the NHS, and the University of Cambridge.

Dr Elaine Loukes, Investment Director at University of Cambridge Enterprise, said, “Cambridge Enterprise creates and invests in companies, built on University of Cambridge research, that can have a huge positive impact on society. From our first meeting it was clear that Ignacio had developed something incredibly special. Zetta’s technology helps researchers and clinicians fully exploit genomic data, speeding the delivery of precision medicine across the world.”

VC-backed funding will focus on growth, enhancing the company’s partnership network while it expands from the UK to open both Spanish and US offices. Investment will also focus on talent, with a five-fold increase in headcount to secure additional software, development and commercialisation expertise.

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