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Posted in | Nanobusiness

Lord Drayson Inaugurates New Oxford Nanopore Facility at The Oxford Science Park

Published on July 8, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd, company developing a revolutionary technology for label-free molecular detection and analysis, with potential applications in DNA sequencing, diagnostics, drug development and defence, announces their new building was officially opened by Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson.

The Science Minister visited the new home for the Oxford-based technology company at the Oxford Science Park. The company, founded in 2005, now employs 60 people and its new home will help it to further expand it business and accelerate is technological advances.

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said: “Oxford Nanopore is a great example of innovation and partnership working between business and universities. We know that if we are to remain competitive in the global markets it will be technology companies like Oxford Nanopore who are going to be the new powerhouses of the UK economy. It’s great to be here in Oxford to open the Nanopore’s new building and I wish them every success.”

Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore said: “This building will provide us with the space and facilities required to develop nanopore technology into a revolutionary DNA sequencing system. It also offers the capacity and the flexibility to look further into the future, where our technology will be used for more than just DNA analysis. The building is also more than mere bricks and mortar; it represents the team’s aspiration to be not only successful but part of a profound scientific achievement.”

Oxford Nanopore Technologies will move to The Oxford Science Park on 23rd July 2009. Our new address will be Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Edmund Cartwright House, The Oxford Science Park, OX4 4GA.

Lord Drayson’s visit to the Company comes just weeks after the announcement of a new innovation fund for technology companies with £150 million initial investment as part of the Governments ‘Building Britain’s Future’ strategy. The Fund will focus on investing in growing small businesses, start-ups and spin-outs, in digital and life sciences, clean technology and advanced manufacturing.

Oxford Nanopore was founded in 2005 on the science of Professor Hagan Bayley of the University of Oxford. Since its inception, the Company has focused on developing nanopore technology into a mass producible biochip and reader system for molecular analysis.

The company’s lead application is DNA analysis. BASE™ Technology uses an adapted protein nanopore coupled with a processive exonuclease enzyme to sequence DNA. Future generations of nanopore sequencing technology may sequence DNA polymers directly or utilize nanpores made of synthetic materials.

The technology is label-free and sensitive at the single-molecule level, meaning that it removes the need for fluorescent labels, optical imaging and instrumentation, and the need for complex sample preparation including DNA amplification. By scaling up into a massively parallel sequencing process on an array chip, this method has the potential to deliver dramatic improvements in cost, speed, simplicity and versatility of sequencing.

Nanopores may also be used for the identification of other single molecules, including proteins such as biomarkers, drugs of abuse and chemical or biological weapons. The technology may also have a role in drug development through ion channel screening.

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