Cloud-based genome analysis could help speed up development of a COVID-19 vaccine


Researchers in Taiwan gain access to a platform that processes genome sequencing data faster than conventional methods

A cloud-based genome analysis computing platform could help speed up the global efforts to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.

ATGENOMIX SeqsLab, the Bio-IT platform runs on Microsoft Azure and can process genomic workloads many times faster than conventional analysis workflow methods.

“With SeqsLab and the Azure’s high-performance computing power, we want medical institutions to speed up the viral and host genome sequencing analysis of COVID-19,” says Chang Ming Tai, a co-founder of ATGENOMIX, the company that built the platform.

“This can provide critical information on how the virus mutates, conserves, and causes disease at the genetic level; and can help fast-track vaccine development and treatment delivery to alleviate the outbreak as well as to prevent the future pandemic.”

Its developers say SeqsLab can process in two or three hours what conventional research analysis methods can handle in a week.

Man looks at a computer screen
ABOVE: ATGENOMIX SeqsLab processes genomic workloads faster.

Ken Sun, the general manager of Microsoft Taiwan, says Microsoft and its partners are committed to helping those who are fighting the pandemic.

“This project blends medical research and cloud computing. It brings Taiwan’s distinct advantage of tech capabilities closer to the medical industry,” he says. “We look forward to doing our part to help the world to overcome this public health crisis and hope that new medical progress is made in the fight against COVID-19.”

Boosting smart medical research

Research teams will be able to harness the computing power of big data with Azure and so improve the current genetic analysis workflows, computing efficiency, detection accuracy, and data scale.

SeqsLab is Taiwan’s first cloud-based high-performance computing platform in DNA and RNA sequencing research. It was developed as part of an effort to boost the island’s smart medical industry. It can accelerate the identification of precise medical solutions in vaccine development and treatment guidelines for COVID-19.

ATGENOMIX is an alumnus of Microsoft Taiwan’s first Startup Accelerator Program.


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