DNA Electronics (DNAe), which invented a semiconductor DNA sequencing technology for a new point-of-need test for blood infections, completed the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of nanoMR, an Albuquerque-based developer of a system for rapid isolation of rare cells in the bloodstream. The total cash consideration of approximately $24 million was done by way of a merger under the laws of Delaware.

Integration of the two organizations is effective immediately, creating an 80+ team with facilities in the U.K. and the U.S. that will operate under the DNAe brand. The acquisition is a key strategic milestone for DNAe, enabling the company to integrate nanoMR’s immunomagnetic pathogen capture system (PCS) with its own Genalysis® PCR and semiconductor-based DNA sequencing technology to create a complete blood-to-result solution, according to a DNAe official.

The PCS reportedly can target multiple rare cell types such as those contained in bacteria and fungi from bloodstream infections at levels of 1 cell/mL or lower in less than 30 minutes, making it the ideal sample preparation technology for DNAe’s rapid point-of-need diagnostic tests, explained Chris Toumazou, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of DNAe. The company’s semiconductor DNA sequencing technology is already licensed to Thermo Fisher and is the core of the Ion Torrent™ Next Generation Sequencing systems as well as to Geneu, a company selling the world's first in-store DNA test for personalized skincare.

DNAe is developing an integrated instrument and consumable cartridge that will deliver results directly from blood in 2–3 hours, continued Dr. Toumazou. Its first diagnostic product, a test for the rapid diagnosis of bloodstream infections, will identify pathogens in the blood as well as antimicrobial resistance genes. This will allow clinicians to treat patients with appropriate medication before the onset of sepsis, saving lives and reducing the time spent in hospital, he added. 

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