Roche Acquires Bina Technologies’ Powerful Genome Analysis Platform

December 19, 2014

By Allison Proffitt 
December 19, 2014 | Bina Technologies announced this morning that it has been acquired by Roche. Financial details were not disclosed. The Roche acquisition is, “the best outcome that could have happened for our company,” co-founder and CEO Narges Bani Asadi told Bio-IT World today. 
The acquisition is an “arm’s length” relationship, Asadi said. Bina will retain its brand, management team, location, customers, and partnerships. “It’s an amazing outcome for us,” she said. Asadi will report to Dan Zabrowski, Head of Roche Sequencing. 
Bina Technologies emerged from stealth mode in May 2012, when Asadi was a Stanford Ph.D. student. Then, the company touted its Bina Box as a fast and customized platform to do secondary genomic analysis, alignment and variant calling. In the years since, the company has steadily rolled out new products, expanded to tertiary analysis, and rebranded its offerings. Bina has evolved from a tools provider to a solutions provider, Asadi said. In February, the company announced new members of its Scientific Advisory Board, signaling an increased interest in clinical genomics.   
Under Roche, much of the company’s trajectory will remain the same, Asadi said. Bina recently announced selection of its platform by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide whole genome, whole exome, and SNP Chip DNA data analysis as part of the VA's Million Veteran Program (MVP), which aims to enroll 1 million veterans.  The acquisition by Roche will enable Bina to further expand support to similar big-data population studies, as well as grow its offering for global enterprise and clinical research customers.
Roche also plans to fully support the continued development of Bina’s newest offering, the Genomics Management Solution product, Asadi said. 
GMS is a platform for managing and analyzing the genomic information that an organization collects over time, serving many different customers within the organization: IT staff, bioinformaticians, and clinical researchers. It includes a read alignment, variant calling, and expression module (RAVE) and a module for annotation and analytics intelligence (AAiM). 
Asadi stresses that the deployment model of GMS is independent from its functionality. Some customers prefer the hardware/software combination solutions Bina first launched. Bina Desktop and Bina Rack (formerly Bina Enterprise) are hardware offerings still available. But other customers, especially pharma customers Asadi said, prefer to work in public or private cloud environments. 
Bina has also already started working to supporting Roche’s next generation sequencing technology, and “provide an end-to-end software platform—from sample to answer—that will accompany a proprietary NGS technology that Roche is building,” Asadi said.  
"The acquisition of Bina is a significant step for Roche to enable the promise of personalized healthcare by delivering the highest quality genomic data possible," said Asadi’s new boss, Dan Zabrowski, Head of Roche Sequencing, in a press release. "Informatics and data management are critical to providing a seamless, end-to-end sequencing solution. Bina's products are designed to improve the efficiency and value of genomic analysis, and the company continues to develop new methodologies and algorithms that link NGS data to disease-relevant genetic markers."
For her part, Asadi is enthusiastic about the growth and learning opportunities at Roche. 
“We’re going to have the support of Roche to develop and scale our company much faster than before, and also have access to really deep experience and knowledge in Roche. Roche is a company of 120 years’ experience and collective learning that operates in more than 150 countries! I look forward to learning a lot!”