Amgen has valued Oxford Nanopore £1.5 billion

Amgen, the US biotechnology group, has invested £50 million in Oxford Nanopore, in a deal that values the UK developer of gene-reading machines at £1.5 billion. California-based Amgen is the first big user of DNA sequencing machines to invest in Nanopore. Amgen’s subsidiary deCode Genetics, which searches through human genomes for causes of disease that could lead to new drugs, is already an enthusiastic customer… Amgen has acquired a 3 per cent stake in Nanopore by buying existing shares at the same price per share as new investors paid at the company’s previous funding round. That raised £100 million in March of this year from GIC in Singapore, China Construction Bank and Australia’s Hostplus. London-listed IP Group, which was one of the original investors when Nanopore was set up in 2005 as an Oxford university spinout, has not sold any shares to Amgen. It remains the largest shareholder, with a stake of 18.3 per cent worth about £270 million… Nanopore caught scientists’ attention with its early products, including the world’s first small, lightweight and portable DNA sequencer called MINION, which has since been used on the International Space Station.

Clive Cookson