|[February 17, 2012]
Oxford Nanopore introduces DNA 'strand sequencing' on the high-throughput GridIONTM platform and presents MinIONTM, a sequencer the size of a USB memory stick
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. --(Business Wire)--
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. today presented for the first time DNA
sequence data using its novel nanopore 'strand sequencing' technique and
proprietary high performance electronic devices GridION and MinION.
These data were presented by Clive G Brown, Chief Technology Officer,
who outlined the Company's pathway to a commercial product with highly
disruptive features including ultra long read lengths, high throughput
on electronic systems and real-time sequencing results. Oxford Nanopore
intends to commercialise GridION and MinION directly to customers within
Oxford Nanopore's GridION system consists of scalable instruments
(nodes) used with consumable cartridges that contain proprietary array
chips for multi-nanopore sensing. Each GridION node and cartridge is
initially designed to deliver tens of Gb of sequence data per 24 hour
period, with the user choosing whether to run for minutes or days
according to the experiment.
Oxford Nanopore will introduce a new model of versatile pricing schemes
designed to deliver a price per base that is as competitive as other
leading systems at launch. Further substantial pricing improvements are
expected with future development to the technology, in particular with
increases in nanopore processing speed and higher density electronic
Oxford Nanopore has also miniaturised these devices to develop the
MinION; a disposable DNA sequencing device the size of a USB memory
stick whose low cost, portability and ease of use are designed to make
DNA sequencing universally accessible. A single MinION is expected to
retail at less than $900.
"The exquisite science behind nanopore sensing has taken nearly two
decades to reach this point; a truly disruptive single molecule analysis
technique, designed alongside new electronics to be a universal
sequencing system. GridION and MinION are poised to deliver a
completely new range of benefits to researchers and clinicians,"
said Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore. "Oxford Nanopore is
as much an electronics company as a biotechnology company, and the
development of a high-throughput electronics platform has been essential
for us to design and screen a large number of new candidate nanopores
and enzymes. Our toolbox is customer-ready and we will continue to
develop improved nanopore devices over many years, including ongoing
work in solid state devices."
Summary of presentation
At the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference (AGBT), FL,
US, Oxford Nanopore presented:
A novel method of DNA 'strand sequencing' that uses an array of
proprietary protein nanopores embedded in a robust polymer membrane.
Each nanopore sequences multiple strands of DNA from solution in
succession, as individual strands are passed through the nanopore by a
proprietary processive enzyme. Base calling is performed b
identifying characteristic electronic signals (disruptions in current
through the nanopore), created by unique combinations of DNA bases as
they pass through a specially engineered region inside the nanopore.
DNA and enzyme are mixed in solution, engage with the nanopore for
sequencing and once the strand has been completed a new strand is
loaded into the nanopore for sequencing.
Genomes that have been sequenced as contiguous reads comprising both
complementary strands of the entire genome. An example was shown of
lamda, a 48kb genome, sequenced as complete fragments, whose sense and
antisense strand total ~ 100 kilobases. Read lengths mirror fragment
sizes in the sample with no exponential loss of processivity.
Accuracy levels competitive with existing market-leading systems were
shown. No deterioration of accuracy is seen throughout the sequencing
of individual strands. A development pathway was presented that is
expected to achieve accuracy exceeding current market-leading
platforms through further design iteration of Oxford Nanopore's
Oxford Nanopore's GridION platform was presented, consisting of a
scalable network device - a node - designed for use with a consumable
cartridge. Each cartridge is initially designed for real-time
sequencing by 2,000 individual nanopores at any one time. Alternative
configurations with more processing cores will become available in
early 2013 containing over 8,000 nanopores.
Nodes may be clustered in a similar way to computing devices, allowing
users to increase the number of nanopore experiments being conducted
at any one time if a faster time-to-result is required. For example, a
20-node installation using an 8,000 nanopore configuration would be
expected to deliver a complete human genome in 15 minutes.
A variety of sample preparation options were presented. No sample
amplification is required and any user-derived sample preparation
resulting in double stranded DNA (dsDNA) in solution is compatible
with the system. With nanopores embedded in robust polymer membranes,
dsDNA can be sensed directly from blood and in some cases with no
Oxford Nanopore's disruptive "Run Until..."
informatics workflow: Nanopores allow the analysis of data in real
time, as the experiment happens. Each GridION node contains all the
computing hardware and control software required for primary analysis
of data as it is streamed from each nanopore, resulting in full length
real-time delivery of complete reads so that the user can perform
secondary analyses as the experiment progresses. This allows the user
to pre-determine an experimental question and continue the sequencing
experiment until sufficient data have been accumulated to answer the
question and move on to the next experiment.
Oxford Nanopore intends to introduce a new pricing model for its
GridION sequencing system, which moves away from the traditional
instrument price and consumable price. This is designed as a series of
packages that allow the user to tailor a scheme to their budget
structure, whether more flexible with capital or consumable
expenditure. Transparent pricing schemes are designed for online
ordering and fulfilment, with discounts applying to larger packages.
Overall the schemes are designed to deliver a competitive 'price per
base' compared to other systems on the market based on like-for-like
Further information is available at the Company's website www.nanoporetech.com.
While orders are not yet being taken for the GridION and MinION systems,
interested users may register their interest at the website.
Notes to editors
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd is developing a novel technology for
direct, electronic detection and analysis of single molecules using
nanopores. The modular, scalable GridION technology platform is designed
to offer substantial benefits in a variety of applications. The
miniaturised MinION device is the size of a USB memory stick, designed
for portable analysis of single molecules. Oxford Nanopore intends to
commercialise GridION and MinION directly to customers for DNA 'strand
sequencing' in 2012.
In addition to DNA sequencing, the system is also compatible with the
direct analysis of RNA. Oxford Nanopore is also developing a Protein
Analysis technology that combines target proteins with ligands for
direct, electronic analysis using protein nanopores. These nanopore
sensing techniques are combined with the Company's proprietary array
chip within the GridION system and MinION.
The Company is also developing the subsequent generation of nanopore
sensing devices based on solid-state nanopores.
Oxford Nanopore has licensed or owns more than 300 patents and patent
applications that relate to many aspects of nanopore sensing including
fundamental nanopore sensing patents, analysis using protein nanopores
or solid state nanopores and for the analysis of DNA, proteins and other
molecules, including the analysis of probe molecules on DNA. The Company
has collaborations and exclusive licensing deals with leading
institutions including the University of Oxford, Harvard and UCSC.
Oxford Nanopore has funding programmes in these laboratories to support
the science of nanopore sensing. This includes the use of functionalised
solid-state nanopores for molecular characterisation, methods of
fabricating solid-state nanopores and modifications of solid-state
nanopores to adjust sensitivity or other parameters.
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