Google Genomics, the cloud-based computing business that is racing to increase its share of online DNA analytics, on Wednesday began offering a cloud service version of the popular DNA analysis software from the Broad Institute, a biomedical research organization.

The Google Inc research tie-up comes as academic institutions and healthcare companies are choosing between Google and other technology companies, like Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and International Business Machines Corp, to host and analyze genetic databases as they look to cure diseases. That sector could be worth $1 billion by 2018, analysts say.

The Broad Institute is made up of scientists from Harvard University, MIT and Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Its Genomic Analysis Tool Kit, or GATK, is used to analyze genomic sequencing data and has been downloaded 20,000 times by researchers and businesses, Broad's Chief Operating Officer Samantha Singer said in an interview.

Learning how to use the software is complicated and is taught as part of academic biomedical curricula.

The service will take over configuring the technical specifications and demands of the software, Google said. It said it has not yet set a price for the service and will include it in its cloud computing fees at the start.

The agreement is the first of its kind but is not exclusive, the companies said.