Product News: DNAnexus Launches Developer Program, Creating App Incubator for Genomic Data Analysis

05 Jun 2013

DNAnexus, a pioneer in cloud-based DNA data management and analysis solutions, today announced the launch of its new Developer Program, which makes available to bioinformaticians and software engineers the technical and support resources needed to create and integrate data analysis applications on the DNAnexus platform. The DNAnexus platform allows scientists to collaborate and analyze genomic data generated by any next-generation sequencing system within a secure, web-based environment. Teams, large or small, can share analysis workflows and data sets in projects; apps created by DNAnexus and third-party developers provide add-on tools that make it easy to customize and extend the functionality of shared or private genomic data analysis workflows.

“Powerful cloud-based technologies have converged with increased DNA sequencing capacity to create an exciting new wave of development in genomic analysis applications. What we need now are programs focused on incubating big ideas into the many applications required to unlock the full value of the genome,” said Andreas Sundquist, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at DNAnexus. “Our goal is to provide a turn-key platform with a comprehensive menu of built-in functionality while also providing the freedom to add new capabilities as needed. We believe this program will do for genomic analysis what Google’s Android Developer Program has done for mobile computing.”

The DNAnexus platform currently includes apps for alignment, annotation, debugging, RNA-seq, and variation calling, with many others under development. The growing library of user-generated apps and open-source tools include: BWA, Cufflinks, FastQC, GATK-Lite, Picard, RSeQC, SAMtools, SomaticSniper, and TopHat.

One of the first user-generated apps deployed on DNAnexus is SPAdes,i an award-winning assembler designed for single-cell genomics. The tool was developed by researchers at the St. Petersburg Academic University Algorithmic Biology Laboratory in collaboration with Pavel Pevzner, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science at University of California, San Diego, who directed the SPAdes project.

“In genomics, the growing app movement offers not just the opportunity to develop new data analysis and workflow tools, but also the unifying force we need to pull together a field that has long struggled with disparate algorithms, tools, and data sets,” added Dr. Pevzner “By combining app development tools with free technical support and access to the computational and data storage resources developers need to build their apps, DNAnexus has created a much-needed incubator for the genomics community.”

Features of the DNAnexus Developer Program include: a well documented software development kit (SDK), application programming interface (API), as well as an app “wizard” and templates. By participating in this program, bioinformaticians and software developers receive free technical support from the DNAnexus engineering team and an initial $1,000 credit for use in accessing cloud-based storage and computational resources.