The funding comes from existing investors and new investors, including International Holdings Company (IHC), RPMI Railpen and RT Puhua Genomics and will support the rapid acceleration of Oxford Nanopore’s commercial and manufacturing operations as well as ongoing innovation in the field of nanopore technology.
Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new shareholders. Our international investor base reflects the international ambitions of Oxford Nanopore, as our technology is now used to answer important biological questions in more than 100 countries.”
Oxford Nanopore, which was originally spun out of Oxford University, was declared a “Unicorn” (a company that is valued at more than $1 billion), in 2018.
“IHC has a strong track record in the healthcare device sector in the Middle East and we are very pleased to be expanding our interests globally,” said Syed Basar Shueb, CEO and Managing Director of IHC, which owns a diverse portfolio of strategic assets from real estate to financial services and manufacturing. “Oxford Nanopore has developed distinctive and proven technology and has been highly effective in taking products from innovation to market within tight timeframes.”
Julia Diez, Portfolio Manager, RPMI Railpen, said: “We are pleased to support the development of Oxford Nanopore, a pioneer in the sequencing space, providing real-time data, novel device formats and the ability to sequence both long and short fragments of DNA or RNA.
“As long-term investors we are looking forward to sharing its journey and to see it capitalising on many exciting opportunities ahead.”
Oxford Nanopore has developed and commercialised a new generation of DNA/RNA sequencing technology that is used by researchers to explore human genetics, cancer, infectious pathogens, plant and animal genomics and environmental science. Oxford Nanopore devices include the hand-held MinION Mk1C, the desktop GridION and ultra-high throughput PromethION, which is now being used in population-scale sequencing.
The company’s technology is increasingly being used in ‘applied markets’ to generate actionable insights such as in food safety or infectious disease, including COVID-19.
The Company is currently investing in the scaleup of its new COVID-19 test, LamPORE. “LamPORE COVID-19” is a rapid and scalable test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is designed to be deployed on the company’s GridION and MinION Mk1C devices. Following an application to the UK’s MHRA, the LamPORE assay is now CE marked for in vitro diagnostic use for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, using the GridION device. Further regulatory approvals are being pursued in other countries, including Emergency Use Authorisation in the United States, and in the United Arab Emirates.
In 2019, Oxford Nanopore opened a new high-tech factory in Oxford, to cater to the accelerating demand for its sequencing products.