The more things change, the more they stay the same. While this is not an original sentiment (it is attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in a journal published in 1849), it reflects my thought as we end DNASTAR’s 30th year in business and look forward to years 31 and beyond.
Looking back, I am amazed by all that has been accomplished in 2014 here at DNASTAR. We pushed several software releases out the door this past year, with major improvements focused on enhanced sequence alignments in MegAlign Pro, improved NGS sequence assembly accuracy and a continuing trend of integration between software and data used on ground computers and on the Cloud. We also introduced some heavy duty clinical sequencing workflows, including a very strong NGS validation workflow that was highlighted by several outside speakers at our ASHG annual meeting workshop in October.
Our hard work this past year was rewarded with new site licenses in the United States, Asia, and Europe, continuing to reflect the global nature of science and our business. We also continue to see DNASTAR software published more often in peer reviewed journals than any other commercial sequence analysis software. That is an accomplishment that has now occurred for 30 years running. I am proud and humbled to be part of an organization that has achieved such an accomplishment.
During 2014, we received news of several grant awards, the most noteworthy ones being in the area of structural biology. In June, we were awarded a fast-track NIH grant to continue to improve the accuracy and speed of NovaFold, our structure prediction software. In September, we were pleased to be awarded a Phase II NIH grant to support our continuing work in developing software to support epitope prediction and antibody engineering. We thank the NIH for their confidence in us and we appreciate the funding to help us move quickly into an emerging area for DNASTAR.
From a support perspective, 2014 was a banner year. We totally redid our website and launched two new interactive initiatives this year for you – live chat and our blog. We encourage you to try these new capabilities and let us know what you think.
So, what does the future hold? Of course, we don’t know with certainty any more than anyone else does. However, we do know that the hard work we put in during the past year will pay great dividends for you in 2015 and beyond. Our software is better and more comprehensive than ever and, as previously mentioned, the NIH has been kind enough to subsidize our development efforts, which will help us continue to improve our software at an even greater pace.
Biology continues to change and evolve…and so do we. Whereas once DNASTAR was known solely as the desktop Sanger sequence analysis software company, now we offer a much broader software package designed to meet your needs anywhere you are for Sanger and next-generation sequencing technologies as well as structural biology applications. We are fast becoming a one-stop shop for an increasing range of molecular biology and structural biology software needs.
We thank you for your past support of DNASTAR and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the future. And, finally…
Happy new year from all of us at DNASTAR!
– Tom Schwei, Vice President and General Manager