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Oxford Nanopore's Revenues Triple in 2017

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Oxford Nanopore Technologies reported this week that is revenues tripled in 2017, driven by an increase in customers for its nanopore sequencing tools and sales of consumables.

In an annual report and financial statements filed with Companies House, a government agency that collects information about UK companies, Oxford Nanopore said that its revenues grew 204 percent in 2017 to £13.8 million ($18.4 million) from £4.5 million in 2016.

About £4.5 million of revenues came from the US, £4.1 million from Europe excluding the UK, £1.3 million from the UK, and £3.9 million from other countries.

The company said that the number of customers and their rate of consumables use grew during the year. Customers, the firm noted, have been using the nanopore sequencing technology for a variety of applications including rapid pathogen analysis, drug resistance characterization, brain tumor tissue analysis, soil analysis, plant sequencing, transcriptome analysis, and environmental studies.

In addition, the firm pointed out that the MinIon sequencer is being evaluated in a study of hospital-acquired pneumonia, has been used to identify plant pathogens on farms in Tanzania, to test food for pathogens by a multinational food company, and to analyze waste water.

Oxford Nanopore also said it received more than 100 orders in 2017 for the GridIon, its medium-size platform that can run up to five MinIon flow cells. At its user meeting last month, the firm said that it has more than 100 GridIon customers in 24 countries.

The company also expanded its production and its distribution channels last year, as well as its commercial team, which is covering new territories and specialties, such as translational science and agriculture. The commercial team currently serves more than 70 countries, the firm noted.

Its R&D expenses decreased slightly in 2017 to £35 million from £38.1 million the previous year, and its general and administrative expenses increased to £33 million in 2017, up from £23.6 million the previous year.

The company's net loss for 2017 narrowed almost 5 percent to £56.6 million from £59.3 million in 2016, driven by increased sales and margins, as well as a higher R&D tax credit.

As of December 31, 2017, Oxford Nanopore had £57.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company recently raised £100 million in a private placement of ordinary shares from investors in China, Singapore, and Australia, as well as from existing investors. The funding will support its commercial expansion including a new 35,000 square-foot manufacturing facility near Oxford, scheduled to open in early 2019; growth of the commercial team; and development of new products.

In its report, the company listed five wholly-owned subsidiaries, whose activities are included in the financials: Oxford Nanopore Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established in 2011 to provide sub-contracted R&D and other services in the USA to the company; Metrichor in the UK, set up in 2013 to offer analysis solutions for nanopore sensing devices; Genome Foundry in the UK, established in 2015; KK Oxford Nanopore Technologies in Tokyo, set up in 2016 to provide services to the company in Japan; and Oxford Nanolabs in the UK, a dormant company.

Oxford Nanopore also said that it is assuming the cost of litigation of a lawsuit between the University of California and Genia Technologies. The Regents of the University of California filed the lawsuit with the US District Court of the Northern District of California in 2016 against Roger Chen, chief technical officer at Genia, and Genia, claiming that Chen developed patented nanopore technology assigned to Genia while he was an employee at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Oxford Nanopore said that the parties have agreed the material terms of a settlement and are currently preparing a definitive settlement agreement that will require approval by the Regents and Chen.