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Imperial College Spinout Licenses IP to Ion Torrent


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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