Illumina has made a strategic investment in Desktop Genetics (DTG) to advance DTG’s DESKGEN genome-editing software platform, the companies said today. The value of the investment was not disclosed.

The investment will focus on integrating the platform with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, as well as improving CRISPR genome-editing workflows, Illumina and DTG said.

DTG said it will combine Illumina’s investment with funds the software company recently raised from a syndicate of venture capitalists and angel investors. The combined funding is being used toward continued development and commercialization of DESKGEN and core CRISPR algorithms.

DTG added that it will also use the funds toward expanding its sales effort and marketing efforts, both aimed at promoting adoption of its technology.

DESKGEN is designed to let researchers design CRISPR gene-editing experiments, purchase reagents, and find commercial entities to execute those experiments, and obtain results, without them having their own specialist laboratories.

According to DTG, DESKGEN has enabled more than 2,000 gene-editing experiments and has driven thousands of users to design and access the optimal reagents for their research.

“We have been impressed by DTG's proprietary DESKGEN platform for CRISPR-based gene editing. CRISPR is becoming increasingly important for NGS applications, and we are pleased to support DTG in executing their vision to build this market,” Nicholas Naclerio, Ph.D., svp of corporate and venture development at Illumina, said in a statement.

DTG offers CRISPR library design, synthesis, and screening services, for high-throughput cell-line engineering services in the cloud, through partnerships with service providers that include Transcriptic and Horizon Discovery.

Partners of DTG also include genome-editing company Editas Medicine, and enEvolv, which engineers microorganisms to produce bio-based products.

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