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12 December 2016

Oxford Nanopore sequences $126m investment

The spinout has raised additional funding after announcing earlier this month that it had become the first company to sequence multiple human genomes using portable technology.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Oxford Nanopore Technologies, an Oxford University spinout working on a portable DNA and RNA sequencer, today raised £100m ($126m) from a consortium led by GT Healthcare.

IP Group, Woodford Investment Management and several other new and existing backers also participated in the round.

Founded in 2005, Oxford Nanopore has created a portable device, the Minion, that provides real-time biological analyses at low cost. The technology has applications in areas such as disease and pathogen monitoring, environmental studies, food chain surveillance and microgravity biology.

The Minion was released last year and earlier this week became the first device of its kind to sequence multiple human genomes.

The funding will go towards an expansion of the company’s commercial activities, increased production, further development of existing products and pipeline, which includes a mobile phone-compatible sequencer dubbed Smidgion.

Oxford Nanopore has now raised a total of £351m. Most recently, IP Group participated in a £70m round in July 2015.

Remaining shareholders include Odey Asset Management, Invesco Perpetual, Top Technology Ventures and Lansdowne Partners.

Alan Au, founder and managing partner of GT Healthcare, said: "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.

“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."

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