The unique technology of Providence-based Nabsys Inc., a life sciences company focused on technology for analyzing DNA, has garnered industry attention nationally. The company recently closed a $20 million financing round. Dr. Barrett Bready, president, CEO and a Rhode Island-native, discusses his company’s recent success, its unique technology and the future of the state’s biotech industry.
PBN: Your company recently landed $20 million in financing. What do you think has led to your success?
BREADY: We are addressing a very important need in the market. The type of work we’re doing is fundamental to the understanding of the genetic basis of complex disease and will impact not just medicine but a variety of sectors.
I think that the technology itself is very cool, interesting and able to attract very good people to Providence to work on it. And having those good people has attracted yet more good people. I think our success stems from the large, abundant need.
PBN: Can you explain a bit about how your company’s technology works?
BREADY: We make semi-conductor based devices for looking at DNA. These are things that look like computer chips and they’re made in the same places that chips are made for consumer electronics applications. But with our chips, DNA molecules flow through them, and they’re read electronically. So it’s a new way of looking at DNA. We call it “positional sequencing,” because it’s not just information about what the sequence is but it gets information about where that sequence goes in the whole genome.
The genome is all of the DNA in each of a person’s cells. … And it’s information that is not well-obtained through current sequencing technologies.