Technology Icon Ray Stata Gives NABsys a Big Boost in $7M Series B

2/17/10

Ray Stata, the co-founder and chairman of Analog Devices, is arguably the biggest name in semiconductors that Massachusetts has to offer. So it’s noteworthy that Stata’s Stata Venture Partners is leading a $7 million Series B round of venture capital for Providence, RI-based NABsys, which is developing a DNA sequencing technology that relies heavily on innovations from the semiconductor industry.

NABsys, which announced the second-round financing today, says that Stata has also joined the firm’s board of directors. The firm says that it plans to use the round to fund development of its DNA sequencing platform, which the firm hopes will significantly expedite the process of reading DNA chains for everyday healthcare uses. NABsys CEO Barrett Bready gave us some insight into his bold vision for the firm last year, when the firm announced the closing of a $4 million Series A round of funding led by Point Judith Capital.

Stata adds oodles of credibility to the Brown University spinout’s experimental “electronic, solid-state DNA sequencing method,” in which silicon chips are used for rapid electronic detection of DNA sequences. Stata, the founder of Needham, MA-based Stata Venture Partners, is a pioneer in the semiconductor industry through his more than four decades of leadership at Analog Devices (NYSE:ADI), a Norwood, MA-based maker of high-performance semiconductors and other technology that reported more than $2 billion in revenue last year.

“NABsys represents the merger of two industries which, until now, have been quite disparate: semiconductors and genomics,” Stata said, in a prepared statement. “I’m looking forward to working with the company’s leadership team and helping them commercialize what we believe will be a significant breakthrough in making DNA sequencing clinically relevant and widely available.”

Fast and inexpensive DNA sequencing is believed to be a key to improving how genomic information is used to treat patients, diagnose diseases, and aid in life sciences research. Last month we reported how the costs of sequencing an entire genome, in certain circumstances, have already been dramatically reduced from millions of dollars to thousands of dollars within the last several years.

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