Oxford, UK (PRWEB) February 21, 2007
Oxford NanoLabs (ONL) announced today that Dr. Spike Willcocks, Director of Business Development, will present at the Early Stage Company Showcase on February 27, 2007, during the forthcoming Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference in San Francisco. Willcocks will describe to potential strategic partners how Oxford NanoLabs uses nanobiotechnology to develop next-generation solutions for the diagnostics industry.
ONL's new nanopore-based platform offers rapid, early, cost-effective, highly sensitive, and accurate diagnosis at the point-of-care, delivering the benefits of the genetic revolution directly to the doctor's office. ONL now seeks technical and commercial partners to form co-development collaborations to bring this novel technology to an addressable market of $7 billion, currently.
"ONL is developing a robust family of products and currently has in development both a rapid influenza test and a blood-based Alzheimer's diagnostic," said Willcocks. "The benefits offered by ONL's influenza test are critically important in the face of a possible avian flu pandemic, which is especially pressing with the recent outbreak of the H5N1 virus in the UK. Our molecular diagnostics device will be hand-held and can be taken directly to the patient's side to provide a rapid diagnosis of an acute condition.
"However, the nanopore platform can be readily applied to many different biomarkers," he continued. "We will work with partners who require a highly accurate and sensitive diagnostic system to bring their technology to the point-of-care marketplace. The nanopore platform's potential has been recognized by the UK government, which is supporting our counter-bioterrorism program and our blood screening test for prions. With no need for molecular labeling, and minimal sample preparation, we are quickly delivering highly cost-effective solutions, retaining laboratory-caliber results."
ONL's longer-term goal is to achieve $1,000 human-genome sequencing using unique, ultra-fast full-genome sequencing devices that will be capable of thousands of measurements in parallel. ONL's devices will bring costs down in genome sequencing by orders of magnitude from the current estimated cost of more than $10 million for a full human sequence. Low-cost sequencing of the genome will make personalized medicine a reality by linking genes to diseases, identifying individuals' predisposition to diseases and responses to drugs; and also enabling our understanding of human variation. Recent developments in the laboratory of ONL's founder, Professor Hagan Bayley, have demonstrated the high stability of protein nanopores and their abilities for base discrimination and single base resolution. Bayley's work indicates that ultra-fast sequencing may not be far off - possibly available within the next five years.
A seasoned executive team leads ONL's commercialization efforts. CEO Dr. Gordon Sanghera has over 15 years experience with novel point-of-care biosensor device. He was a key player in the development of glucose testing strips that are now used daily by millions of diabetic patients around the world to assess their blood sugar levels via a digitized, accurate, and easy-to-use readout. Paul Triniman, CFO, has over 25 years experience as a professional financial advisor, public company finance director, and private company non-executive director specializing in the development of early-stage life science companies.
"ONL intends to target the point-of-care medical diagnostic market, leveraging existing electrochemical techniques," said Dr. Sanghera. "We have already developed a scalable, cost-effective prototype handheld device with disposable biochips for sample applications that could be developed for near-patient testing. This is a major growth market: some forecasts estimate the fast-growing molecular diagnostics sector to exceed $60 billion by 2016."
ONL's nanopore biochip sensor technology - based on electrical measurement -- enables single-molecule detection of a wide range of biomarkers: in particular, protein and DNA. Its ability to measure individual molecules provides key advantages including unparalleled specificity, high sensitivity with large dynamic range, self-calibration, and self-correction in the event of error. The underlying nanopore technology is based on real-time monitoring of changes in current flow through nanometer-scale holes in proteins. The ONL's founder Hagan Bayley pioneered the field as a Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford, with his research group. Professor Bayley is one of the world's leading experts in membrane protein engineering and stochastic sensing.
About Oxford NanoLabs (ONL)
Oxford NanoLabs is a nanobiotechnology R&D company developing highly innovative research and diagnostic products based on protein nanopores for applications in genomics, pharmacogenomics, and drug discovery, as well as for the defense and security sectors. Spun out of the University of Oxford in 2005, ONL is now housed in state-of-the art facilities at a microtechnology and nanotechnology-focused science park on the outskirts of Oxford, UK. ONL has strong financial backing from IP Group plc and institutional investors. Oxford NanoLabs expects to launch research products on the market within one to two years, and medical diagnostic products in three years.
Dr Spike Willcocks, Director of Business Development
Phone: +44 1865 854 836
Dr. Sandra Kay Helsel
SK Helsel & Associates