French diagnostics company bioMérieux has invested £70m ($85m) into Oxford Nanopore Technologies as part of a strategic investment.
As per a 19 October company statement, bioMérieux now owns 3.5% of the UK-based molecular sensing tech company. The France-based company added that it plans to increase its stake in Oxford Nanopore up to a further 3.5%, though it did not place a timescale on when it expects to purchase the additional shares.
Shares in Oxford Nanopore rose by 14.7% at market open on Monday 23 October compared to the pre-announcement market close on Thursday 18 October.
The investment is a continuation of a partnership between the two companies that began in April 2023. At the time, Oxford Nanopore and bioMérieux stated their initial areas of focus were the diagnosis of infectious diseases, including developing a test for determining the antibiotic resistance of tuberculosis.
Oxford Nanopore, which spun out of the University of Oxford in 2005, is advancing a new generation of nanopore-based sensing technology. This type of test analyses long DNA or RNA fragments by monitoring an electrical current as the nucleic acids are passed through a protein nanopore.
bioMérieux stated it will use its research and development capabilities alongside expertise in regulation and market access to help advance Oxford Nanopore’s in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) solution.
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The two companies will also establish an IVD Advisory Board to discuss bringing nanopore technology into routine clinical use.
bioMérieux CEO Pierre Boulud said: “This investment will reinforce our existing partnership with Oxford Nanopore and provide more resources for the development of innovative IVD solutions. We consider that the new generation of sequencing technology developed by Oxford Nanopore holds promise to answer future diagnostic needs and will further improve patient care, in particular against the ever-growing infectious diseases threat.”
Oxford Nanopore Technologies CEO Gordon Sanghera said: “This investment will enable us to deliver rapid, accessible, and affordable clinical tools more quickly to address unmet needs and improve healthcare worldwide.”