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Nanopore Sequencing Startup Nabsys Closes $4M Equity Round

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Nabsys said today that it has closed a $4 million equity round, led by Point Judith Capital. The Slater Technology Fund and other previous investors also participated in the round.

The Providence, RI-based company said it will use the proceeds to further develop its nanopore-based DNA sequencing technology, which combines solid-state nanopores with sequencing-by-hybridization.

Originally, both approaches were independently pursued by researchers at Brown University, who founded two companies, Nabsys and GeneSpectrum. In late 2006, Nabsys acquired GeneSpectrum in an all-stock transaction (see In Sequence 1/9/2007).

The idea of the technology is to use electrically addressable nanoarrays to determine the position of probes hybridized to long fragments of DNA. By repeating the process with many probes from a library and comparing the hybridization patterns, the DNA sequence can be deduced.

Nabsys was founded in 2004 by Brown professors Xinsheng Sean Ling and Leon Cooper, and has exclusively licensed nanopore technology developed by Ling, a professor of physics.

In 2007, Nabsys won a two-year, $480,000 grant from the National Human Research Institute's Advanced Sequencing Technology program to develop its hybridization-assisted nanopore sequencing, or HANS, technology. Separately, Ling won a three-year, $820,000 grant under the same program that year to develop the technology.

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