Amazon’s Vision for Biology in the Cloud, Uptake Nabs $17.5M, CMC Icos Mounts Comeback, & More Seattle-Area Life Sciences News

This being a short holiday week, the Seattle biotech roundup is short and sweet.

—Seattle-based online retail giant Amazon has been pushing hard for a few years to become the leader in cloud computing, which has enabled a generation of tech startups to run their businesses with less startup capital. But it’s only recently been picking up steam with biology labs that are generating massive amounts of data from next-generation gene sequencing machines. Amazon’s Deepak Singh talked about the strategy and, and how Amazon has sought to customize the service to biotech customers, in this national exclusive.

—Seattle-based Uptake Medical, the developer of a catheter-based device to treat emphysema, nailed down a Series B venture round worth a cool $17.5 million. The company’s system uses hot water vapor to seal off damaged parts of the lung where air can get trapped, making it difficult to breathe. The cash will go toward winning approval in Europe, marketing in countries outside the U.S., and to help Uptake do what it takes to win FDA approval.

—Seattle-based Oncothyreon (NASDAQ: ONTY), the developer of cancer drugs, said it has lined up a financing arrangement in which it could raise as much as $20 million over time from Small Cap Biotech Value.

—Bothell, WA-based CMC Icos Biologics made news in the summer of 2008 when it rolled out a bold expansion plan, which it had to shelve when the financial crisis struck. But CMC Icos, the contract manufacturer of biotech drugs, has apparently weathered the storm. It has grown from about 130 employees in January 2009 to about 175 today.

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