Source: ONT

Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) has announced that they have raised £100M ($140M) in funding from new and existing investors. The money is intended to help support planned commercial expansion and development of new products, as well as the construction a newly announced manufacturing facility. The announcement was made earlier this morning on their website.

ONT, which is headquartered in the UK with offices in the US, China, France, Germany, and Japan, was founded in 2005 and has become a household name within the genomics community since the release of its MinION sequencer in 2015. This funding round, which brought in new investors such as GIC, CCB International, and Hostplus, will enable the company to continue developing new products that challenge industry expectations.

At the same time, some of the money is being set aside for the development of a new manufacturing facility on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in the UK. The bespoke facility, which is planned to be 34,000sqft, will enable ONT to keep up with their growing market presence and to focus their manufacturing and distribution processes to a single, purpose-built location.

“Our business is moving quickly, from personal sequencers into high-end sequencing and distributed analyses,” said Gordon Sanghera, PhD, CEO of ONT, in a statement. “In recent weeks, both Oxford Nanopore and our customers have shown very high yields of data from PromethION Flow Cells, demonstrating low-cost long-read nanopore sequencing at large scale. Meanwhile, we are driving a change in how scientists and industries access DNA information, by introducing smaller, accessible, low-cost formats, including our forthcoming smartphone sequencer SmidgION. Our investors are ambitious and support our long-term vision: to enable the analysis of any living thing, by anyone, anywhere.

“We would also like to thank the innovative community of nanopore users, who have been instrumental in driving new uses for our products.”

The announcement is not only good news for ONT; it can also be seen as an indication of a stronger future for the British genomics industry.

“I’m pleased that such a pioneering British business has obtained the investment they need to grow, creating thousands more jobs and continuing ground-breaking research in this field here in the UK,” said Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK. “Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are making sure that Britain remains the natural choice for innovative firms to prosper – investing in the future of our country.”