Nextbio is latest search engine — for healthcare research community

Nextbio is a new search engine for the biotech-health industry, something you could have seen coming a mile away.

The nation’s multi-trillion dollar healthcare industry is the equal sister to the information technology sector. In IT, you have plenty of niche search engines, such as Koders and Google Code Search. On the healthcare side, you’ve got a bunch of search engines focused on consumers, but few serious sites oriented to the biotech business-research community.

There’s the Canadian site, Lifesciencesworld.com, and German site, Bionity, but Nextbio appears to be going a level deeper, focusing first on gathering all freely available biological research on the Web, and organizing it so you can search for experiments or studies related to specific genes, proteins, or diseases. It then plans to move into chemical search, and then clinical search. The two-year-old Cupertino start-up is seed-funded by Amidzad, a venture capital firm in Palo Alto, and by Mostafa Ronaghi, a member of the Stanford Genome Technology Center at Stanford’s Medical School. The company sells subscriptions to big pharma companies and academic labs for $10,000 per user per year ($5,000 for academic user). The company says it has 100 paying customers, some of them with multiple users. Customers are evenly split between pharma and academic labs — meaning it has close to about $1 million in revenue.

The company is raising a first round of venture capital.

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