Maverix Biomics has received a $100,000 order from the University of Missouri to analyze feline genomes for the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative, a joint project between the University of Missouri, the University of California, Davis, and industrial partners.
Maverix will also host data from project and make it available as a free, publicly-accessible "community of discovery" — these communities are comprised of groups of scientists with a common research area or study organism that use the cloud-based Maverix Analytic platform to share data, access and use analytic workflows, browse results. Users will also have free access to the data visualization capabilities provided by the UCSC Genome Browser. They will however need to pay a fee to incorporate additional data or run other sorts of analysis, exploration, or visualization tools — there is discounted pricing for academic and not-for-profit research organizations.
The 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative aims to sequence the genomes of 99 cats with an eye towards, among other things, improving current coverage and future assemblies of the cat genome, and identifying genotypic variation across a large number of cats with diverse genetic backgrounds and causative mutations for specific health conditions. Having these genomes on hand, the group believes, will enable researchers better understand disease pathways and develop diagnostic and screening tests that will improve treatments for cats. This information could also be used to improve the feline reference assembly, a new version of which is slated for releases later this year.
Dave Mandelkern, Maverix co-founder and CEO, told BioInform about the project during a previous conversation centered on the company's plans for the $6 million investment it received from its first significant venture funding round.