Amgen becomes shareholder of Oxford Nanopore (DNA sequencers)

US-based biotech group Amgen has announced a GBP50m equity investment in Britain-based Oxford Nanopore, manufacturing DNA sequencers. Amgen’s move aligns with its focus on using human genetics to research for new therapies addressing some major diseases. Indeed, Amgen already has another subsidiary, deCode Genetics, whose main activity is analyzing human genome. deCode Genetics already extensively uses Oxford Nanopore’s sequencers. Oxford Nanopore uses a technology that uses protein nanopores contained within a synthetic membrane in combination with electronics to perform sequencing of DNA in diverse modes. The GBP50m investment grants Amgen a 3% stake in the company, valued at GBP1.7bn. Oxford Nanopore  was established in 2005 as a spin off of the University of Oxford, which is also one of its shareholders, with 18.3% of its shares, together with Lansdowne Partners, Invesco, Woodford Investment Management and Redmile. Oxford Nanopore’s sequencers are meant to be an alternative to those by California-based Illumina, which dominates the DNA sequencing market, valued at $3bn.

(Source: Amgen)