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Oxford Nanopore Raises $59M to Support MinIon Commercialization, R&D for New Products

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Oxford Nanopore Technologies has raised £35 million ($59 million) from existing and new investors, bringing its total funding since its founding in 2005 to £180 million ($302 million).

The new funding, through a private placement of ordinary shares, comes from investors in the UK, the US, and mainland Europe. The CF Woodford Equity Income Fund, which is managed by Woodford Investment Management, is one of the new investors.

Oxford Nanopore plans to invest the additional capital in infrastructure for the early access program for its MinIon nanopore sequencer, including production and logistics, customer support, and application development. In addition, the funding will be used to support R&D efforts, including the development of scalable nanopore sensing products that will "address all parts of the market," according to the firm.

CEO Gordon Sanghera said in a statement that the new funding will allow the company to accelerate and scale the adoption of the MinIon device, noting that the MinIon Access Program is "progressing as expected."

Oxford Nanopore started the early access program for the MinIon, its first product, this spring. A few users have publicly commented on their experience with the platform so far.

Sanghera said the company wants to develop additional products and increase its commercial activity. "We can now make devices tailored to specific high-value sequencing applications and, importantly, ultra-high-throughput devices designed for large-scale whole-genome sequencing," he said. In addition, the firm wants to apply its core technology for sensing molecules other than DNA.

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