NuProbe announces licensing deal with Oxford Nanopore, supporting highly sensitive variant analysis in cancer research

Houston, US, Shanghai, China — NuProbe Global, a global molecular diagnostics company based in Shanghai, China and Houston, TX, has signed an agreement with Oxford Nanopore Technologies, where Oxford Nanopore has licenced NuProbe's Blocker Displacement Amplification technology globally for an undisclosed consideration.

The technology combination offers the potential to combine Oxford Nanopore sequencing, which offers real-time, rapid turnaround, scalable sequencing of any length DNA or RNA fragments, with the NuProbe technique for enabling greater detection sensitivities and quantification of somatic mutations at less than 5% allele frequency.

The collaboration will support the expanding use of Oxford Nanopore sequencing in applications such as cancer, where targeted sequencing, for the characterization of SNVs and SVs - can be achieved alongside methylation analysis, using small, accessible devices such as MinION and Flongle.

"Nuprobe's Blocker Displacement Amplification (BDA) technology selectively suppresses PCR amplification of wildtype DNA sequences at hundreds of genomic loci," said David Zhang, Head of Innovation at NuProbe. "Thus, BDA can enhance the analytical sensitivity of nanopore sequencing, and enables mutation profiling of low-abundance variants with accuracy comparable to or better than sequencing-by-synthesis platforms, to support greater adoption of nanopore sequencing for oncology applications."

The Companies plan to collaborate on the development of software tools to enable researchers to design bespoke and highly sensitive panels based on the technology.  The goal is to enable users to analyze somatic mutations and gene fusions from tumor tissue and blood, and to be able to scale up these workflows for rapid and high-throughput use in any environment.

"Improving the reach of precision medicine is the future of disease management" said Yingshuang Chai, CEO of NuProbe. "Delivering accurate, decentralized, and affordable sequencing will be a critical component of ensuring that each cancer patient receives personalized treatment that lead to the best possible outcomes."

"Simultaneous and accurate genomic analysis of both smaller mutations and larger structural variants from the same cancer patient sample could be a game-changer for oncology," said George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a member of NuProbe's Scientific Advisory Board.  "A partnership between NuProbe and Oxford Nanopore makes a lot of sense."

"Both Oxford Nanopore Technologies and NuProbe share the vision of broadening access to sequencing and genomic information, and providing novel sequence-based analyses," said Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore Technologies.  "We look forward to working with NuProbe to explore new translational applications."