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Imperial College Spinout Licenses IP to Ion Torrent

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DNA Electronics has licensed intellectual property to Ion Torrent Systems, the Imperial College London spinout said this week.

The licensing agreement is non-exclusive and worldwide, but the parties did not disclose further details.

According to DNA Electronics’ website, its IP portfolio includes the label-free pH-mediated detection of DNA and RNA using semiconductor chips, DNA sequencing using chip-based detection of hydrogen ions released from nucleotide incorporation, novel low-power electronic interfacing techniques, methods for on-chip nucleic acid amplification, and methods for on-chip detection of SNPs.

The company, known as DNAe, has developed a platform, called Genalysis, for real-time nucleic acid sequence detection at the point of care. The platform uses disposable lab-on-chip cartridges that include reagents, microfluidics, and low-power silicon biosensors. Test reactions are analyzed in real time using a portable handheld device.

Possible applications for Genalysis include infectious disease screening, pharmacogenomics personalized medicine, clinic and home-use diagnostics, hospital bedside screening, as well as on-the-spot testing in the agricultural and food industries, forensics, and biodefense, according to the firm.

DNAe’s R&D facilities are located at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, and it has commercial offices in London’s midtown. Its founder and CEO, Chris Toumazou, is a principal investigator at Imperial.

Last year, the company and Imperial partnered with Pfizer to test a prototype of its device for assessing genetic predisposition to adverse drug reactions, a £1.2 million ($1.9 million) project partially funded by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board.

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