DNA sequencing “unicorn”, Oxford Nanopore, raises further £84.4million in capital funding

Harwell Campus – based DNA sequencing company, Oxford Nanopore, has raised £84.4M in new capital. The funding comes from existing 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.

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. In recognition of its successes, 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.

Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new shareholders. Funding from 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’s high-tech factory was opened on Harwell Campus in 2019 to cater for the accelerating demand for its sequencing products. From here, it ships flow cells, kits and other commodities all around the world.