Wednesday 2 December 2020
 
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Syed Basar Shueb

IHC invests $50.8m in UK DNA sequencing firm

ABU DHABI/OXFORD, October 13, 2020

Abu Dhabi-listed International Holdings Company (IHC) has invested £39 million ($50.8 million) in Oxford Nanopore Technologies as part of a £84.4 million equity raising exercise by the UK-based firm, a pioneer in DNA sequencing technology.

The funds will support further innovation and the acceleration of commercial and manufacturing operations, including supporting Oxford Nanopore as it scales up its rapid Covid-19 testing capability.

“IHC has a strong track record in the healthcare device sector in the Middle East and we are very pleased to be expanding our interests globally,” said Syed Basar Shueb, CEO and Managing Director of IHC, which owns a diverse portfolio of strategic assets from real estate to financial services and manufacturing. “Oxford Nanopore has developed distinctive and proven technology and has been highly effective in taking products from innovation to market within tight timeframes.”

”We are delighted to welcome IHC as an investor in Oxford Nanopore,” said Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore. “Our international shareholder 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 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. Its technology is increasingly being used in ‘applied markets’ to generate actionable insights such as in food safety or infectious disease, including Covid-19.

The company is currently investing in the scaleup of its new Covid-19 test, LamPORE. “LamPORE Covid-19” is a rapid and scalable test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  It is designed to be deployed on the company’s GridION and MinION Mk1C devices.

Following an application to the UK’s MHRA, the LamPORE assay is now CE marked for in vitro diagnostic use for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, using the GridION device.  Further regulatory approvals are being pursued in other countries, including Emergency Use Authorisation in the United States, and in the United Arab Emirates.
 
In 2019, Oxford Nanopore opened a new high-tech factory in Oxford, to cater to the accelerating demand for its sequencing products. –TradeArabia News Service
 




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