Oxford Nanopore Technologies

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Precision Medicine?
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Genetic Testing
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Oxford Nanopore Technologies is a spin-out from the University of Oxford that has developed a new generation of DNA/RNA sequencing technology which is claimed to be the only sequencing technology that offers real-time analysis, in fully scalable formats from pocket to population scale, which can analyze native DNA or RNA and sequence any length of fragment to achieve short to ultra-long read lengths. This technology supports both scientific research and in a range of industries such as healthcare, industrial and other environments.

Their product Flongle targets the need for on-demand, rapid, smaller tests or experiments. The pocket-sized MinION is a portable sequencing device that can reportedly deliver high volumes of long read sequence data. The benchtop GridION can apparently run up to five MinION Flow Cells at a time, on-demand, for larger genomics projects. Their PromethION is the largest format for nanopore sequencing, designed to offer on-demand use of up to 48 Flow Cells - allowing delivery of over 10 Tb of sequence data in a full run, now used in population-scale sequencing projects. Also, the palm sized PromethION 2 is claimed to make high-output nanopore sequencing broadly accessible.

To make the technology suitable for any user, the company was working on increasing ease of use and automation (as of October 2023). Nanopore sequencing reportedly offers easy and rapid preparation, including a ten minute library preparation kit and the automated, programmable VolTRAX in addition to a range of analysis workflows.

The company employed over 1,000 employees (as of October 2023) from multiple disciplines including nanopore science, molecular biology and applications, informatics, engineering, electronics, manufacturing and commercialisation. 

Key customers and partnerships

Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Mayo Clinic announced a multi-year joint development collaboration in October 2023 to develop new clinical tests for diseases and improve patient care. The partnership intended to leverage Oxford Nanopore's nanopore sequencing technology to enhance Mayo Clinic's testing capabilities in areas such as human genetics and cancer detection. The collaboration will take place on Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.

The company also entered into a partnership with Swiss next-generation sequencing data analysis company Saphetor in October 2023, to allow tertiary analysis of the nanopore sequencing data for the purpose of variant interpretation and prioritization. Under the partnership, the companies intended to create a direct connection between secondary and tertiary analysis of nanopore sequencing data through the integration of Oxford Nanopore's Epi2Me research software with Saphetor's VarSome Clinical (a clinically accredited platform allowing variant discovery, annotation, and interpretation of NGS data for whole genomes, exomes, and gene panels). 

Funding and financials

In October 2023, Oxford Nanopore Technologies raised GBP 70 million in a private placement from biotechnology company bioMérieux S.A. This investment was earmarked to support development of products in Oxford Nanopore’s portfolio to serve IVD markets.

Note : Oxford Nanopore Technologies is non- comparable as its sequencing technology is unique.

HQ location:
Gosling Building Edmund Halley Road Oxford Science Park Oxford GBR
Founded year:
2005
Employees:
501-1,000
IPO status:
Public
Total funding:
USD 1.5 bn
Last Funding:
USD 85.1 mn (Post IPO Equity; Oct 2023)
Last valuation:
USD 2.4 bn (Oct 2023)
Key competitors
 
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