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Hat-trick for Petagene as it wins Best of Show at Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston


By Paul Brackley


Petagene, the Cambridge company that reduces the size of genomic data without compromising quality, has won its third award at the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston.

The Petagene team post their third Best of Show award at the 2019 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo. Picture: Petagene (9297508)
The Petagene team post their third Best of Show award at the 2019 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo. Picture: Petagene (9297508)

It earned ‘Best of Show’ for the latest addition to its product range, PetaSuite Protect, following earlier wins at the leading conference for IT in life sciences in 2016 and 2018.

The judges awarded the ‘Nailed It’ award PetaSuite Protect after considering 31 new products.

PetaSuite Protect provides users with tools to encrypt genomic data, manage fine-grain access to it and demonstrate compliance with regulations.

Like PetaSuite’s compression technology, these have no impact on genomic tools or analysis - appearing completely ‘transparent’ to them.

Phillips Kuhl, president at Cambridge Healthtech Institute, said in the awards citation: “Our judges believe this is a new, powerful and highly relevant approach to security, driven by a passionate and invested team.”

Petagene’s co-founder and CEO said: “We’re thrilled to win this illustrious award for the third time. We’re particularly grateful to the judges for recognizing the relevance of our approach to this important element of genomic data management.”

Amid growing genomic data demands, the company, based at ideaSpace in the Hauser Forum, says its compression technology can save users 60 to 90 per cent on storage costs and on data transfer times.

Its lossless compression technology for BAM and FASTQ files enables storage on premises or in the cloud.

Petagene says 1,000 petabytes of genomic data are already stored worldwide, and the aggregate cost of genomic storage is expected to grow from $500million today to $5billion by 2021.

The company was the brainchild of a team of Cambridge PhD students, who collaborated with the Stegle Group at EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute at Hinxton on the idea from 2014.

Petasuite was launched in April 2016 and won Best of Show at the Bio-IT World Conference and Expo that month.

Petagene raised additional funding in 2017 and won Best of Show again in 2018 for its cloud edition.

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