QuantumDX licenses nanostructures for DNA sequencing in hand-held devices

23 October 2011

Newcastle-based QuantuMDx Group Limited has signed an exclusive license agreement with US nanotechnology developer Nanosys Inc for several patents and patent applications related to the use of nanostructures for biosensors.

The core intellectual property involves the use of nanowires and nanotubes in biosensors, including field effect transistor (FET) biosensors, which were derived from the work of Prof. Charles Lieber, a professor of chemistry at Harvard and pioneer in nanotechnology.

QuantuMDx has secured exclusive worldwide rights for the use of nanostructures for DNA sequencing and, amongst others, detecting nucleic acid biomarkers associated with disease. In exchange, Nanosys has received an upfront license fee and downstream royalty payments. No other financial details of the deal were disclosed.

Nanosys owns an extensive IP portfolio around multiple aspects of nanotechnology including quantum dots and nanowires for diverse applications, with a primary focus on LED backlighting and energy storage. QuantuMDx Group will use the exclusive access to these nanowire composition, synthesis and use patents, along with its proprietary molecular biology, chemistry and microfluidic technologies in a series of portable devices for molecular diagnostics and DNA Sequencing.

“The power of Nanosys’s technology is that it enables accurate diagnosis and quantification of multiple biomarkers using small arrays of biosensors that readily lends itself to our ‘DNA sequencing while you wait’ diagnostic devices, with numerous medical, veterinary and military applications,” said Elaine Warburton, chief executive officer of QuantuMDx Group.

QuantuMDx Group’s medical director, Professor Sir John Burn, said, "We are creating a simple-to-use, sample-to-result device which will provide robust, handheld, clinical DNA sequencing at the point of care. The technology is cheap by any measure and with turnaround times in the minutes, it will be an exciting and significant new instrument in the clinical tool box. I believe it will facilitate the wider uptake of DNA sequencing by the medical fraternity."

Andrew Filler, general counsel and vice president of intellectual property at Nanosys, commented, "Through continued development, licensing and commercialization such as we have done with QuantuMDx, Nanosys is expanding the transformative applications of advanced materials in the marketplace.”


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