BioNano Genomics Raises $53 Million to Advance Genomic Mapping Technology

BioNano Genomics, Inc. recently announced the completion of a $53-million Series C financing. Legend Capital and Novartis Venture Fund co-led the round and were joined by Federated Kaufmann Fund and Monashee Investment Management as new investors. Existing investors Domain Associates, Battelle Ventures, and Gund Investment Corporation also participated. Darren Cai, PhD, Executive Director at Legend Capital, and Campbell Murray, MD, Managing Director at Novartis Venture Fund, joined BioNano’s board of directors. The capital raised will be used to expand commercialization efforts to grow the installed base and utilization of BioNano’s Irys platform and to develop the next generation platforms and technology innovations.

“BioNano’s Irys System enables comprehensive detection of structural variations (SVs), which makes up a substantial portion of genome differences among individuals. The ability to robustly discover SVs is recognized as an essential tool for applications of genomic information in personalized medicine and diagnostics,” said Dr. Cai. “We see genome mapping as a large, high-growth market that complements and broadens the sequencing market.”

Implicated in a rapidly growing list of clinical indications, SVs are fundamental to understanding, diagnosing, and treating many human diseases; they also play significant roles in the understanding of food crops and other areas of ag-bio Structural variations include insertions, deletions, inversions, translocations, and repeats. As a whole, they have been termed the “inaccessible genome,” because they are often missed by the existing repertoire of genomics tools.

Dr. Murray said “We saw that BioNano has the only commercial genome mapping system that can systematically analyze clinically important SVs, including DNA rearrangements and recombinations, and were inspired to provide capital and expertise to BioNano.”

“Understanding structural variation is essential to advancing the clinical impact and diagnostic use of genomics,” added Tracy Warren, Board Chair of BioNano Genomics. “BioNano’s Irys System offers the missing link between sequencing data and actionable clinical data.”

BioNano’s Irys System is a long-read genome mapping solution that reveals the location, order, and orientation of functionally relevant components of the genome, including the size and location of long repeats and integration sites, which are often implicated in complex diseases such as cancer. Irys finds all types of structural variations in a single assay, without prior knowledge of the variants. Previously, obtaining a comprehensive view of a genome was a major hurdle because existing tools such as next-generation sequencing and arrays do not provide the scalability or reliability to detect, resolve, and assemble large repetitive elements and structural variations.

“Our investors have seen the research community’s response to BioNano’s Irys System as a “must have” instrument to drive the next wave of discoveries in genomics. They foresee how our technology will enable the practical use of genomic information in the clinic and in other important industrial settings,” said Erik Holmlin, PhD, President and CEO of BioNano. “We will use this capital to accelerate global sales of Irys and to invest in next-generation innovation to address the untapped, multi-billion dollar genome mapping market.”

Headquartered in San Diego, BioNano Genomics is delivering an altogether better way of gaining a fully informed understanding of genomes. BioNano is the only company that offers a systematic and commercially viable approach to detect the long-range genomic information that reveals the structure of complex genomes, such as human and cancer. Structural variations are increasingly known for being inextricably tied to human diseases and therefore are vital to their diagnosis and treatment. The company’s Irys platform provides researchers and clinicians with the most comprehensive, organized, and actionable picture of a genome, including unprecedented insights into how the individual components of genomes are ordered, arranged, and interact with each other. BioNano Genomics works with institutions in life science, translational research, molecular diagnostics, and personalized medicine. For more information, visit