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On point
June 2014
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author
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LONDON—Late April saw DNA Electronics Ltd. (DNAe), a developer of semiconductor solutions for real-time DNA and RNA detection, announce that it had secured the necessary funding to develop the Genalysis point-of-care genomic diagnostic product line.
 
Edith Grove Ltd., the company’s principal shareholder and a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Berhad, was the source of most of this financing, though the company’s founders also made additional investments to make the Genalysis funding possible.
 
DNAe will use the funds to “transform the company from an R&D and licensing business to a full-fledged product company, offering point-of-care solutions for time-critical medical applications.”
 
According to the news release about the financing, DNAe will combine the experience in next-generation sequencing it gained from a collaboration with Roche and its development of point-of-care genotyping solutions for personalized skincare analytics pioneer GENEU Ltd. to develop a new product line of Genalysis genomic diagnostic systems.
 
DNAe says that this further investment “forms part of a growing portfolio of cutting-edge healthcare companies funded by Genting Berhad,” and Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, CEO and chairman of Genting Berhad, said, “We are excited about DNAe’s strategic growth plans and are delighted to provide our continued support to help the company achieve its clear market potential.”
 
“I would like to thank Genting Berhad for their continued strong support of DNAe, which reflects their confidence in our strategy and capability,” said DNAe CEO and founder Prof. Chris Toumazoud. “Our label-free semiconductor sequencing technology is now proven across thousands of laboratories worldwide, through the company’s non-exclusive license to Ion Torrent, now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. I am excited about embarking on this new chapter of growth and development of the company and making personalized genomic healthcare a tangible reality.”
 
DNAe’s website describes the diagnostic technology as using “the standard building block of modern microelectronics—the silicon transistor—to detect DNA and RNA. The core technology principle is that when matching nucleotides come together during DNA synthesis, they release hydrogen ions, which can be detected as an electrical signal. Conversely, if there is no match, no hydrogen ions are released and no signal is detected.”
 
This principle can be used for all kinds of DNA and RNA analysis without the need for fluorescent dyes or labels or precision optics that make current DNA analysis equipment bulky and expensive, according to DNAe.
 
The technology uses unmodified reagents and unmodified microchip technology to provide for versatile, disposable, chip- based platforms that are fast, simple and scalable, according to the company.
 
Code: E061423

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