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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.

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