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Jan 12, 2009

Illumina Invests $18M in Oxford Nanopore’s Sequencing Platform

  • Illumina and Oxford Nanopore entered an alliance covering Oxford Nanopore’s BASE™ Technology products for DNA sequencing. Illumina made an equity investment of $18 million, which will be used to accelerate the development of this platform. Illumina also agreed to make an additional equity investment upon the achievement of a specific technical milestone.

    Additionally, Illumina will exclusively market, sell, distribute, and service BASE™ Technology products to the research and diagnostic markets on a worldwide basis. Illumina and Oxford Nanopore will share profits generated from sales.

    Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing system uses protein nanopores coupled with a processive enzyme. This system is designed for direct electrical identification of DNA bases at the single-molecule level without the need for fluorescent labels.

    “Oxford Nanopore’s technology holds tremendous promise to achieve the sub-$1,000 human genome,” notes Jay Flatley, President and CEO of Illumina. “Making electrical measurements of unmodified DNA removes the need for complex sample prep and the high-performance optics found in today’s sequencing systems.”


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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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