Oxford Nanopore Technologies Raises £100M in Funding
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd, the UK-based technology company that has designed and sells the world’s only portable DNA/RNA sequencer, has raised £100 million ($126 million) in new funding through a private placement of ordinary shares. The investment round was led by new investor GT Healthcare Capital Partners (“GT Healthcare”), a pan-Asian fund with special reach in China, as well as existing investor Woodford Investment Management on behalf of its clients. Other new and existing investors including IP Group plc also participated in the round.
“We will be using these funds to expand our commercial operations across a range of territories, including in Asia,” said Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore. “The active community of scientists using the MinION has shown that there are myriad possibilities for real time, scalable DNA sequencing with nanopore devices. We are looking forward to accelerating the development and adoption of those applications, towards our goal of enabling the analysis of any living thing, by anyone, anywhere.”
Oxford Nanopore will add resource to production and sales & marketing for its novel products including MinION (portable DNA sequencer), PromethION (high-throughput, on-demand sequencer) and VolTRAX(automated sample/library preparation device). The Company will also continue to invest in rapid improvement of its existing products and to further develop and expand its innovative pipeline, including the mobile-phone compatible SmidgION sequencer.
“We are very excited to be a part of Oxford Nanopore’s revolutionary platform, which fundamentally changes – and shapes – the landscape of DNA/single molecule sequencing” said Alan Au, Founder and Managing Partner of GT Healthcare. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Oxford Nanopore’s management team, with whom we share the same strategic vision; to extend the reach and accessibility of Nanopore-based sequencing solutions into emerging markets. We are confident that GT Healthcare and Oxford Nanopore will work very well collectively to accelerate our expansion in new markets, particularly the Greater China markets.”
This transaction brings the total funds raised by the company to £351 million.
About Oxford Nanopore
Oxford Nanopore Technologies has developed the world’s first and only nanopore DNA sequencer, the MinION. The MinION is a portable, real time, long-read, low cost device that has been designed to bring easy biological analyses to anyone, whether in scientific research, education or a range of real world applications such as disease/pathogen surveillance, environmental monitoring, food chain surveillance, self-quantification or even microgravity biology. Commercially available since 2015, the MinION is in use by a thriving community in more than 50 countries, enabling myriad applications within the traditional laboratory environment and in the field.
Nanopore sensing technology is fully scalable and the high-throughput, high-sample number PromethION is currently being released in the PromethION Early Access Programme (PEAP). Oxford Nanopore is focused on making DNA/RNA based analyses easy enough for any user and so we are working to simplify the sample preparation and data analysis processes. For sample preparation this includes a 5-10 minute sample prep kit, and VolTRAX. VolTRAX, now shipping to early users, is a rapid, programmable, portable, disposable sample preparation device designed to convert complex samples (eg samples may come from blood, saliva, the environment) into a form ready for nanopore analysis. Metrichor Ltd offers analysis solutions coupled with nanopore sensing devices, with the goal of making analyses accessible to industries or people without bioinformatics skills or even biology qualifications. ‘Applied’ markets may include healthcare, agriculture or the food or environmental industries. Nanopore devices can be adapted for the analysis of a range of biological molecules including DNA, RNA and proteins. Supported by a broad patent portfolio, the Oxford Nanopore pipeline includes multiple generations of nanopore-based sensing technologies, including those based on both biological and solid-state nanopores.
Source: Oxford Nanopore Press Release