Monday, November 1, 2010

DNA Electronics Partners with Roche to Develop Semiconductor Based Sequencing System

Collaboration to focus on development of a low-cost, high-throughput, long read, high density DNA sequencing system.

London, United Kingdom, Nov 01, 2010 - DNA Electronics, a fabless semiconductor provider of solutions for real-time DNA and RNA analysis, announced today that it has entered a partnership with 454 Life Sciences, a Roche Company. The collaboration will focus on the development of a low-cost, high-throughput, long read, high density DNA sequencing system. As part of the agreement, DNA Electronics has signed a non-exclusive licence to provide relevant IP from its proprietary semiconductor technology portfolio to Roche. This technology which enables sensitive detection of nucleotide incorporation during sequencing will build on 454 Life Sciences’ current pyrosequencing-based platform. The collaboration leverages DNA Electronics’ unique knowledge of semiconductor design and expertise in pH-mediated detection of nucleotide insertions with 454 Life Sciences’ long read sequencing chemistry to produce a seamless evolution from optical detection to low-cost, highly scalable electrochemical detection.

DNA Electronics’ technology utilizes completely electronic methods for semiconductor-based detection of DNA nucleotide incorporations via pH changes. The pH change is generated when two complementary nucleotides bind together and protons are released in the process which switches on an ion sensitive semiconductor field effect transistor (ISFET), allowing real-time DNA sequencing and analysis. This ground breaking electronic DNA detection technology overcomes the limitations of traditional optical detection technologies which depends on labels and has exacting manufacturing demands. DNA Electronics provides “Fabless” CMOS semiconductor core technology solutions which are label free and can be fabricated in any microchip foundry in the world and developed into multiple platforms. The collaboration between DNA Electronics and 454 Life Sciences is a pivotal step to realizing the vision of routine human genome sequencing that can identify mutations and structural variations within hours.

“We have always believed that the marriage between mature standard CMOS semiconductor technology, ubiquitous in the consumer electronics world, and the molecular life science industry will eventually transform Research machines into affordable Diagnostics tools,” said Professor Christopher Toumazou FRS, DNA Electronics Chairman and CEO. “We are delighted to embark on this collaboration with 454 Life Sciences, a pioneer in the field of high-throughput sequencing. We will complement our DNA on CMOS chip expertise with 454’s expertise in long-read chemistry and sequencing instrument design”

Commenting on the partnership, Christopher McLeod, President and CEO of 454 Life Sciences said, “We’re pleased to work together with DNA Electronics, the inventors of ISFET DNA sequencing technology, to bring the benefits of semiconductors to the field of sequencing. This collaboration nicely combines our expertise in long read sequencing chemistry with DNA Electronics’ understanding of ISFET technology and semiconductor design.”

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

For more information on DNA Electronics Ltd, visit

About DNA Electronics

DNA Electronics is a fabless semiconductor solution provider for real-time nucleic acid detection which enable faster, simpler and more cost-effective DNA analysis platforms. The company’s IP portfolio includes techniques for monitoring nucleotide insertions using solid-state biosensors on standard CMOS chip technology, enabling label-free electronic DNA sequencing and diagnostics platforms. DNA Electronics (DNAe) has developed the Genalysis® platform of disposable silicon chip-based solutions for real-time nucleic acid sequence detection at the point of care, providing end users with technology as yet unavailable outside a laboratory.

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About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:

454, 454 SEQUENCING, 454 LIFE SCIENCES, GS FLX and GS JUNIOR are trademarks of Roche.

Other brands or product names are trademarks of their respective holders.

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