Abu Dhabi’s IHC invests $51m in UK’s Oxford Nanopore Technologies

The funding will help Oxford Nanopore to scale its Covid-19 testing capability

A scientist at Oxford Nanopore lab. Abu Dhabi’s International Holdings Company said on Tuesday it is investing £39 million in Oxford Nanopore Technologies. Courtesy: Oxford Nanopore
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Abu Dhabi’s International Holdings Company invested £39 million ($51m) in Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a UK based firm that specialises in DNA sequencing technology.

The latest investment is part of Oxford Nanopore’s £84.4m equity raising exercise and will help the company boost its Covid-19 testing capability, IHC said in a statement on Tuesday.

“IHC has a strong track record in the healthcare device sector in the Middle East and we are very pleased to be expanding our interests globally,” Syed Basar Shueb, chief executive and managing director of IHC, said. “Oxford Nanopore has developed distinctive and proven technology and has been highly effective in taking products from innovation to market within tight timeframes.”

IHC, which is listed on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, is active in a number of sectors including real estate, manufacturing and financial services. The company recently entered into a partnership with Dal Group to develop and cultivate 100,000 acres of farmland in Sudan, with a total investment of $225m.

In the first half of 2020, IHC posted a net profit of Dh814m on revenues of Dh2.5 billion.

Oxford Nanopore, on the other hand, has developed and commercialised a new generation of DNA or RNA sequencing technology that is helping researchers explore human genetics, cancer, infectious pathogens, plant and animal genomics and environmental science. The company is currently raising money to scale up its new Covid-19 test, LamPORE.

”We are delighted to welcome IHC as an investor in Oxford Nanopore,” said Gordon Sanghera, chief executive of Oxford Nanopore. “Our international shareholder base reflects the international ambitions of Oxford Nanopore, as our technology is now used to answer important biological questions in more than 100 countries.”