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Oxford Nanopore Nabs £70M Investment From BioMérieux, Signs Clinical Collaboration With Mayo Clinic

NEW YORK – Oxford Nanopore Technologies said on Thursday that it is receiving a £70 million ($84.6 million) strategic investment from French in vitro diagnostics firm BioMérieux. Separately, the UK-based nanopore sequencing technology firm said it has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic to develop new clinical tests to improve treatment of cancer and genetic disorders.

For its investment, BioMérieux is purchasing 29,025,326 ordinary shares of Oxford Nanopore — equivalent to 3.5 percent of the firm's voting rights — at a price of 238.08 pence per share, representing an investment of nearly £70 million. The deal is expected to close on Oct. 23.

In addition, BioMérieux expects to purchase up to 3.5 percent of Oxford Nanopore shares over time, subject to availability and price.

BioMérieux has further promised not to acquire more than 9.9 percent of Oxford Nanopore's shares in total in the next five years and not to sell any shares in the company for the next 12 months.

The deal builds on a collaboration agreement the two firms signed earlier this year for the development of infectious disease diagnostics.

The companies said they plan to combine Oxford Nanopore's sequencing-based in vitro diagnostics technology and BioMérieux's expertise in R&D, regulatory issues, and medical and market access. As part of the agreement, they will establish an IVD advisory board to help advance nanopore technology into routine clinical care.

"This investment will enable us to deliver rapid, accessible, and affordable clinical tools more quickly to address unmet needs and improve healthcare worldwide," Oxford Nanopore CEO Gordon Sanghera said in a statement.

"[T]he 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," said BioMérieux CEO Pierre Boulud.

Meanwhile, the partnership between Oxford Nanopore and Mayo Clinic, the financial details of which were not disclosed, is a multiyear collaboration. The goal is to develop new clinical tests in different areas, ranging from translational research in human genetics to genetic cancer predisposition detection. Projects will take place on Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

"We have long held the ambition to become a utility player in world-renowned, global clinical centers of excellence, and this is our first step toward achieving that vision," Sanghera said in a statement.

"Pairing Oxford Nanopore's innovative nanopore sequencing with Mayo Clinic's world-class clinical and diagnostic testing knowledge further helps advance patient care," added Bobbi Pritt, interim chair of Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.