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Oxford Nanopore Raises $28 Million to Start Protein Analysis Work, Continue DNA Sequencing Research

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This story originally ran on Feb. 3.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies announced this week it has raised £17.4 million ($28 million) which it will use to start work in protein analysis, in addition to "accelerated" development of its core technology for DNA sequencing and continued work in its lead project in DNA sequencing.

The UK company was founded in 2005 by Hagan Bayley, a professor of chemistry at the University of Oxford. It is developing technology for the "direct electrical detection and analysis of single molecules," the company said in a statement. The technology uses nanopores to measure electrical currents of molecules as they interact with the nanopores. Based on the current, identification of the molecule can be made.

While the lead application is in DNA sequencing, the modular nature of the technology can also be used for protein research, according to the firm. Current protein analysis methods, such as mass spectrometry and immunoassays, may be complex or expensive "and may not deliver all the required information about the analyte," Oxford Nanopore said. "The use of nanopores in combination with ligands … for protein analysis has the potential to provide rich, real-time information."

The company previously had raised £32 million. Investors in the recent round include Lansdowne Partners, IP Group and Invesco Perpetual, undisclosed US institutions, and Oxford Nanopore's DNA sequencing marketing partner, Illumina.

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