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How Freenome is building the next generation of early cancer detection technology with Google Cloud

It’s incredible to see how startups across industries are using cloud technology to help address some of our most pressing, important, and life-altering challenges. Startups and high-growth technology companies are choosing Google Cloud and using technologies like Google Compute Engine (GCE), BigQuery, Looker, Firebase and more to help businesses reduce energy consumption, build more inclusive and sustainable workforces, and in the case of high-growth biotech company Freenome, are creating diagnostic tests that will help detect life-threatening diseases like cancer in the earliest, most-treatable stages.

Freenome is driven by its mission to develop high-quality diagnostic tests to detect and treat diseases like cancer from a simple blood draw. In 2022, Freenome significantly accelerated its growth on Google Cloud to support the business as it began the clinical trials of its diagnostic blood testing technology. Today, the high-growth biotech is further deepening its partnership with Google Cloud in order to support its rapid growth and scale as it concludes clinical validation, takes its tests through FDA approvals, and prepares to bring its product to market. 

When detected early, data shows that there is a higher probability for cancer to be beaten, yet not everyone has access to early detection measures. By creating a way to detect the earliest warning signs of cancer with a standard blood test, Freenome is helping bridge the gap between accessibility and early cancer detection. To do this, Freenome built a multiomics platform capable of analyzing and detecting disease-associated patterns in the blood using molecular biology, advanced biology, and machine learning. By applying machine learning models trained to scan for tumor and non-tumor biomarkers to the diagnostic process, Freenome’s tests can identify suspicious molecular patterns in a patient’s blood, which will ultimately help more people detect cancer at its earliest stages in the body.

The amount of molecular data extracted from blood samples can quickly add up to hundreds of terabytes worth of data, so it was clear early on that Freenome would need infrastructure that could support the fast sequencing and processing of large amounts of data. In addition, Freenome’s collaboration technology needed to provide flexibility, security, and proper identity management safeguards, given the nature of its business. To meet these needs and support the company’s plans for growth and innovation, Freenome selected Google Cloud as its primary cloud provider, utilizing services like Google Cloud Storage and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), along with Google Workspace as its collaboration platform. 

Using Cloud Storage alongside GKE gives Freenome the computing power needed to sequence and process mass amounts of blood sample data with high-performance, speed, and at scale. Cloud Storage also makes it easy for Freenome to leverage other Google Cloud capabilities like BigQuery for analytics with built-in query acceleration. Additionally, the built-in cluster management capabilities of GKE make it easy for Freenome’s engineering and IT teams to manage and deploy new workflows to the high-performance computing clusters used by the machine learning components of its multiomics platform to speed up cancer detection. Freenome also uses Google Cloud technologies like Artifact Registry and Cloud SQL, which help the company ensure a managed and secure software supply chain of containers and other artifacts. 

Today, as a part of its expanded partnership with Google Cloud, Freenome is significantly increasing its use of Cloud Storage and GKE as it works to complete the clinical trials related to its diagnostic test. By expanding its use of GKE and Cloud Storage, Freenome will be equipped to perform the compute-intensive analytical work required for running its research workflow and diagnostic classifier algorithms. In addition, Freenome teams will continue leveraging Google Workspace products across the company so they can securely manage and collaborate on business-critical content. 

Besides using Cloud Storage, GKE, and Google Workspace to support the company’s rapid growth, Freenome plans to leverage Google Cloud technologies like BigQuery to support the research and development of new products. The company is also testing security technologies like BeyondCorp to keep its growing workforce secure and productive at scale.

As the future of disease detection continues to evolve, Google Cloud is proud to support the growth of innovative companies like Freenome with infrastructure and cloud technologies so they can help empower more people with early disease detection solutions and ultimately, change more lives for the better.

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