Amazon invested in Grail, the liquid biopsy startup out of Illumina, back in March, and CNBC notes that the e-commerce company doesn't typically invest in the life sciences. But it now reports that Amazon sees Grail as a potential customer for its cloud business.
Grail aims to use sequencing to detect the early stages of cancer from within patients' blood, a process that's going to require a high level of data processing and storage capability, CBNC says. It adds that though any test from Grail won't be ready for a few years, the company will still need computing power to conduct the trials to show that its approach works.
"Hundreds of thousands of people will need to be sequenced for each of these studies. And the genomes will need to be securely stored somewhere," CNBC says, adding that that's where Amazon Web Services, which offers cloud computing, could come in.
The European Bioinformatics Institute's Zamin Iqbal tells CNBC that the companies are "positioning themselves for something they think will be big."
"The future of genomics is likely to involve the cloud heavily," he adds.