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Japanese NGS Firm Quantum Bio Raises $20M

NEW YORK(GenomeWeb) – Japanese next-generation sequencing technology firm Quantum Biosystems has raised ¥2.4 billion ($20 million) to continue development of its DNA/RNA sequencer.

The Series B funding comes from new investors Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, as well as existing investors JAFCO, UTEC, and Mizuho Capital, the firm said. 

Founded in 2013 and based in Osaka, Quantum Bio is developing single-molecule electronic DNA sequencing technology. The technology measures tunneling currents from DNA bases as the molecule passes by a sub-nanometer gap. It relies on a pair of nanoelectrodes separated by a sub-nanometer gap, across which it places a bias voltage. It then detects changes in the tunneling current as single-stranded DNA or RNA translocates through the gap. 

Quantum Bio told GenomeWeb last year that it was developing a next-generation of the technology that uses a gating nanopore to confine the motion of translocating DNA. Its founders are Toshihiko Honkura, now Quantum Bio's president and CEO, and Masateru Taniguchi, the company's CSO.