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About

To enable the analysis of any living thing, by anyone, anywhere

Oxford Nanopore makes a novel generation of DNA/RNA sequencing technology that provides rich data, is fast, accessible and easy to use. Our goal is to disrupt the way that biological analyses are currently performed, and open up new applications that have a profound, positive impact on society.

Nanopore staff group photo

Who we are

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd was founded in 2005 as a spin-out from the University of Oxford. The company now employs about 500 employees from multiple disciplines including nanopore science, molecular biology and applications, informatics, engineering, electronics, manufacturing and commercialisation. The management team, led by CEO Dr Gordon Sanghera, has a track record of delivering disruptive technologies to the market.

Company history

Where we are

Oxford Nanopore is a private company. headquartered at the Oxford Science Park outside Oxford, UK, with satellite offices in Cambridge (UK), New York, Cambridge, San Francisco (US), Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, and a broader commercial presence that includes Japan, Germany, France and India. The company sells to nearly 100 countries and is in a period of rapid growth.

In the summer of 2019, we opened a new high-tech manufacturing facility in Oxford.

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Nanopore scientist working in the lab
A nanopore sequencing workshop

The technology

Oxford Nanopore has developed a new generation of DNA/RNA sequencing technology. It is the only sequencing technology that offers real-time analysis (for rapid insights), in fully scalable formats from pocket to population scale, that can analyse native DNA or RNA and sequence any length of fragment to achieve short to ultra-long read lengths.

Small formats such as Flongle address the need for on-demand, rapid, smaller tests or experiments, and can be used in labs or in the field. The pocket-sized MinION is a powerful and portable sequencing device that can deliver high volumes of long read sequence data. The benchtop GridION Mk1 can run up to five MinION Flow Cells at a time, on-demand, for larger genomics projects. PromethION is the largest format for nanopore sequencing, designed to offer on-demand use of up to 48 Flow Cells – capable of delivering more than 7Tb of sequence data in a full run, and is now being used in population-scale sequencing projects.

To make the technology suitable for any user, we focus on increasing ease of use and automation. Nanopore sequencing offers easy and rapid preparation, including a ten minute library preparation kit and the automated, programmable VolTRAX. We also provide a range of analysis workflows.

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Why DNA/RNA?

DNA and RNA are molecules that are present in all living things. DNA contains an organism’s genetic code, the instructions for building and operating an organism. RNA is primarily a messenger molecule, carrying instructions from the DNA code to control the synthesis of proteins – the building blocks of organisms.

Sequencing is the process of identifying the order of ‘bases’ on a molecule of DNA or RNA. This is called a ‘sequence’.

This sequence data can answer a range of biological questions such as ‘what is it?’ or ‘Is it healthy or diseased?’.

Who needs DNA/RNA information?

Scientific research

Sequence data is used throughout scientific research, whether in university, government or industrial research groups, to help biologists answer a range of questions.

The majority of users of Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing technology are currently research scientists.

Applied markets

Outside scientific research, DNA/RNA information can be used to support ‘real life’ decision making, whether that is in healthcare, industrial or other environments. Some of these sectors are regulated, such as in healthcare and food safety.

As well as providing devices for lab-based testing, Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing technology is uniquely deployable in distributed, near-sample settings, delivering rapid, data-rich insights. Our goal is to open up new applications that have a profound, positive impact on society, by providing a new generation of accessible technology.

Our technology is starting to be used in applied markets, in some cases where users of the technology have pursued their own regulatory clearance of the application.

genome science

Scientific Research

Genome Science

What is the structure and function of the human genome?

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Human Genetics

Scientific Research

Human Genetics

How does variation between individuals influence their characteristics, disease risk or response to medication?

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Agricultural Industry

Applied markets

Industry

  • Is this food/water safe to sell/consume? Do we need to shut down our production line to clean it?
  • Can we optimise production of our livestock, fish or seafood?
  • Can we optimise biopharma biological production?
  • Can I perform real time surveillance of the organisms in this environment?
Cancer Research

Scientific Research

Cancer Research

What are the genetic changes that are causing this cancer, and the mechanism of those changes in broader cell pathways? Can knowledge of these changes influence choices on treatment? Can new therapeutics be developed as a result of this knowledge?

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Clinical Research

Scientific Research

Clinical Research

How can we use sequence data to personalise medicine? How can we integrate sequence data into clinical decision making? How does a person’s genome influence how they may respond to a disease or an infection?

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Surgeons performing an operation

Applied markets

Healthcare*

  • Oxford Nanopore’s technology is currently being used in multiple external clinical laboratories, to characterise infectious disease samples, to tissue type in advance of transplants and to provide insights into reproductive health.
  • Oxford Nanopore is in advanced development of LamPORE, a new assay intended for diagnostic use.
  • A broad range of clinical areas may potentially benefit from rapid genomic insights: What disease does this person have? What is the optimal treatment pathway for this person?
Microbiology

Scientific Research

Pathogens / Microbiology

What is this virus/bacteria/fungus? What makes it pathogenic? Is it resistant to antimicrobial drugs? How could we use this information to prevent or treat the disease that it causes?

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Field of crops

Scientific Research

Plants / Crops

What are the differences between these tomato crops? How can we breed better varieties, that are more productive, long lasting or taste better? How can we apply this knowledge to a variety of plants from cereals to flowers?

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A classroom of students

Applied markets

Education

School and university students: Can I use sequencing as a fundamental tool to understand biology, data analysis, experimental design, and become a citizen scientist of the future?

A landscape with town and river in foreground, mountains in the background.

Scientific Research

Environmental

How is the microbial composition of this ocean/glacier/lake changing? What is this species? Is it endangered? What can we understand about the biodiversity within this area?

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Transcriptomics

Scientific Research

Transcriptomics

How do different conditions impact which genes we use and when? What does this mean for human health.

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Epidemiology

Scientific Research

Epidemiology

What is this pathogen? How is it changing? How is it being transmitted?

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Population-scale genomics

Scientific Research

Population-scale genomics

What can we learn about the characteristics and diversity of genomes of a specific population of people, and how can we apply this to improve the health of those people?

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Security

Applied markets

Security

Is there a harmful pathogen here? What is the origin of the pathogen? Is this environment safe? What is this species? Is it being shipped illegally?

* Currently, Oxford Nanopore’s technology is sold for Research Use Only

Learn more

Oxford Nanopore’s technology has now been featured in more than 1,000 scientific publications.

You can find out more about the work of the nanopore community at our Resource Centre, and more detail about the research applications in our Applications area.

Nanopore staff group photo

Innovation

With a best-in-class R&D team, Oxford Nanopore’s innovation drive has delivered a novel generation of sequencing technology and surrounding, enabling technologies. We continue to invest heavily in innovation, to drive disruption of the scientific markets.

Supported by a broad patent portfolio generated by internal R&D and external collaborations, the Oxford Nanopore pipeline includes more than 1,400 patents and applications. The portfolio includes multiple generations of nanopore-based sensing technologies, including those based on both biological and solid-state nanopores.

Intellectual property

Anyone anywhere

Accessibility is central to our goal, and it is baked into everything we do, whether that is product design, pricing or how we support our customers.

In 2015, we chose to launch a device to the market that was accessible to any scientist. A MinION starter pack cost $1,000, could be shipped or used anywhere and was easy to use. A thriving community of scientists grew around the device, and these pioneering researchers continue to break boundaries, whether by sequencing in the Antarctic or characterising drug resistant tuberculosis in Madagascar.

In 2020, as well as providing tools for analysis in any location, we also provide powerful devices that can provide rich, deep analyses of very large datasets – for example for population-scale human genomes. The technology range is built on the same platform and is key to our goal of addressing all needs for biological insights.

Nanopore staff group photo Using the MinION in Antarctica.
Image courtesy of Dr. Sarah Stewart Johnson,
Georgetown University.

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