Oxford Nanopore Technologies announces £25 million ($41 million) fundraising

- Proceeds will fund the Company’s technology for nanopore DNA sequencing, protein analysis and solid-state nanopore R&D -

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd., the UK-based developers of nanopore technology for the direct, electronic analysis of single molecules, today announced that it has raised £25 million ($41 million) in new funding via a private placement of ordinary shares in the Company.

The funds will support further development, external technology validation and production capabilities for the Company’s proprietary technology for molecular analysis applications that include DNA sequencing and protein analysis. In addition to the development of techniques using biological nanopores, Oxford Nanopore has also strengthened existing projects and collaborations in the development of solid-state nanopores.

The round was funded by existing and new institutional and individual investors from the US and UK, including Lansdowne Partners, IP Group, Invesco Perpetual, Redmile Group, Illumina and other undisclosed investors. The Company has previously raised £49 million since its formation in 2005.

“We are delighted to welcome several exceptional new investors and thank our existing high-calibre shareholders for their ongoing support as we continue to develop the next generation of molecular analysis system,” said Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore.

“Our investors share our excitement about the Oxford Nanopore DNA sequencing system that is designed to meet the diverse needs of a range of scientific users. In addition, last year we noted that the development of our platform technology, GridION(TM), was advanced enough to merit the addition of a new project to develop techniques for electronic protein analysis. This programme has yielded substantial progress and we look forward to further progress for Oxford Nanopore in 2011.”

The Oxford Nanopore platform technology, GridION, consists of a scalable modular instrument and self-contained consumable cartridge. GridION is adaptable for the analysis of different types of molecules including DNA and proteins by changing the types of nanopore included in the cartridge.

The Company’s technology integrates techniques from disciplines that include nanopore science, electronics, high-speed data processing, fluidics and software development. Oxford Nanopore has built broad expertise and an intellectual property estate of more than 250 patents and patent applications in nanopore sensing technology, through a combination of in-house discoveries and a network of academic collaborations. New funds will also be used to support the Company’s leadership position in current and future nanopore science. For example Oxford Nanopore recently extended various academic partnerships, including an agreement with Harvard University that added graphene to an existing project in solid-state nanopore technology.

The placement of ordinary shares in the Company under this fundraising does not constitute an offer of the Company’s shares to the public. No shares in the Company will be offered or sold to any person except in circumstances which have not resulted and will not result in an offer to the public.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd is developing a novel technology for direct, electronic detection and analysis of single molecules using nanopores. The modular, scalable GridION technology platform is designed to offer substantial benefits in a variety of applications.

The Company is developing two techniques for DNA sequencing: Exonuclease Sequencing and Strand Sequencing, both of which combine a protein nanopore with a processive enzyme for the analysis of DNA. Oxford Nanopore is also developing a Protein Analysis technology that combines target proteins with ligands for direct, electronic analysis using protein nanopores. These nanopore sensing techniques are combined with the Company's proprietary array chip within the GridION system. The Company also has collaborations for the development of solid-state nanopores.

Oxford Nanopore has collaborations and exclusive licensing deals with leading institutions including the University of Oxford, Harvard and UCSC. The Company has funding programmes in these laboratories to support the science of nanopore sensing. Oxford Nanopore has licensed or owns more than 250 patents and patent applications that relate to many aspects of nanopore sensing from protein nanopores to solid state nanopores and for the analysis of DNA, proteins and other molecules. This includes the use of functionalised solid-state nanopores for molecular characterisation, methods of fabricating solid-state nanopores and modifications of solid-state nanopores to adjust sensitivity or other parameters.