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May 12, 2014
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Speedy clinical analysis

NextCode enables fast clinical interpretation of patient sequencing data

NextCode Health is seeking to extract untapped value from the assets of deCode genetics by using sequencing data to improve clinical diagnoses. NextCode is focused on building its user base via partnerships with medical centers and universities.

Amgen Inc. acquired deCode genetics ehf in late 2012 for $415 million in cash because it wanted to use the Icelandic company's databases and data mining and computational expertise to identify and validate drug targets. However, Amgen said it was not interested in continuing to offer deCode's diagnostics and genomic screening services (see BioCentury, Dec. 24, 2012).

As a result, NextCode debuted last October with a $15 million series A round from Polaris Partners and Arch Venture Partners and an exclusive, five-year license from Amgen to use the deCode genomics platform for sequence-based clinical diagnostic applications. Most members of NextCode's senior leadership team come from deCode.

The company is offering access to vast databases of genomic information, software for analyzing and interpreting sequencing data, as well as data storage and management services.

Co-Founder, President and CSO Jeffrey Gulcher, who was the former CSO of deCode, said the time was right to launch NextCode as the cost of sequencing has come down dramatically while the volume of sequencing data being generated has exploded.

He said NextCode is developing its genomics business in the diagnostics space in several ways. The company is growing its user base through partnerships that provide access to the company's system, and by offering web-based and data hosting services.

Gulcher said the company already has partnerships with...

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