Oxford Nanopore Technologies

Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) is a DNA/RNA sequencing company.

by Henry Birt

Research Assistant

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ONT develop and supply instruments which can be used to read the genetic code of an organism. This information can help to find treatments to diseases. The sequencing market is not without competition however; in Illumina ONT finds a formidable opponent.

However, whilst Illumina remain the largest player in the market, PacBio present the most direct competition to ONT as the sequencing market is bifurcated into short-read technology (used by Illumina) and long-read (operated by PacBio and ONT). Short-read technology is more established than long-read and will likely remain the dominant sequencing solution for years to come.

However, there is a 9% or so ‘dark zone’ of the human genome which can’t be sequenced by short-read techniques and this is where ONT hopes to make traction.

ONT’s long-read technology is only just emerging from its proof-of-concept phase and its instruments are currently involved in a series of trials that will be crucial to catalyse further adoption. Whilst promising, ONT still have a lot to prove.

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Winter Issue Thirty Seven