Company claims semiconductor-based platform will be fastest and cheapest whole genome sequencer.
NABsys received a $7 million investment as part of a Series B round of financing led by Stata Venture Partners. The funds will be used to speed development and commercialization of the firm’s semiconductor-based DNA sequencing platform. The latest fundraising follows on from a $4 million equity round completed by NABsys in 2009.
The company is working in close collaboration with scientists at Brown University to develop a solid-state DNA sequencing platform that combines nanopore sequencing with sequencing-by-hybridization (SBH). The technology on which NABsys was established was originally developed by the company’s co-founder, Xinsheng Sean Ling, Ph.D., associate professor of physics at Brown University.
Exploiting both physical and biochemical methods, NABsys aims to create a whole-genome sequencing technology that employs electronic detection, does not depend on polymerase, and directly obtains DNA sequence information over hundreds of thousands of bases. The technology uses electrically addressable nanopore arrays to sequence DNA without amplification or labeling, NABsys explains. The platform essentially carries out electronic detection of the positions of hybridized DNA probes and then uses highly developed algorithms to reconstruct the DNA sequence.
The resulting Hybridization-Assisted Nanopore Sequencing platform represents what NABsys believes will be the lowest cost, fastest whole genome sequencing technology available. In 2007, NABsys became the first commercial enterprise to win a “$1,000 Genome” award from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
Ray Stata, founder of Stata Venture Partners has joined the NABsys board of directors. Stata is also founder and chairman of semiconductor company, Analog Devices. He claims NABsys represents the merger of two industries—semiconductors and genomics, “which until now have been quite disparate.”