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Oxford Nanopore Licenses NuProbe Sample Prep Technology

NEW YORK — NuProbe said on Thursday that it has granted a worldwide license for its proprietary blocker displacement amplification (BDA) technology to Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to NuProbe, the BDA technology selectively amplifies low-abundance sequence variants in a background of wildtype DNA and can be combined with nanopore sequencing to enable greater detection sensitivities and quantification of somatic mutations at less than 5 percent allele frequency.

NuProbe added that UK-based Oxford Nanopore will use the BDA technology as part of its efforts to expand the use of nanopore sequencing in cancer research. The companies have also agreed to develop software to assist researchers in designing BDA-based panels that can analyze somatic mutations and gene fusions from tumor tissue and blood, as well as scale up their workflows for high-throughput applications.

"Simultaneous and accurate genomic analysis of both smaller mutations and larger structural variants from the same cancer patient sample could be a game-changer for oncology," George Church, a Harvard University researcher and member of NuProbe's scientific advisory board, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Houston, Texas-based NuProbe — a spinout of Harvard's Wyss Institute — merged with China's CarrierGene Biotech and partnered with Illumina on the development of molecular diagnostics for genetic disorders.