Stratos Genomics Announces Major Milestone: Sequencing with Expandable Nucleotides triggers $15 Million financing.

Stratos Genomics Inc. announced today it achieved a major technical milestone last month by demonstrating nanopore sequencing with their proprietary expandable nucleotides (X-NTP™).

Stratos’ Sequencing by Expansion technology (SBX™) is an efficient, low-cost DNA preparation method that rescales a DNA target into a longer surrogate polymer. This surrogate, called an Xpandomer™, encodes the sequence information in high signal-to-noise reporters. Rescaling enables high-fidelity, single molecule detection of long sequences using compact, low cost, nanopore instruments or other measurement technologies.  Stratos’ X-NTP sequencing demonstration, which utilized an in-house engineered DNA polymerase to incorporate the expandable nucleotides, is a significant advancement for the company.

“One year ago, we set a challenging goal to sequence X-NTP based Xpandomers in a nanopore prior to June and we accomplished it,” Stratos Genomics President & CSO, Mark Kokoris said. “With the fundamental processes in place, our focus is now on optimizing for commercial level performance,” Kokoris continued.

In June 2014, Roche made a strategic investment in Stratos Genomics and entered into a research collaboration to support further development of their unique chemistry applied to single molecule sequencing of DNA fragments using protein nanopores. Roche researchers have been working with Stratos scientists to support the development of efficient, low-cost sample preparation methods for DNA Xpandomers™ by leveraging Roche's expertise in protein design, polymerase mutagenesis, modified nucleotide chemistries and rare reagent manufacturing.

“The milestone sequencing results are promising,” said Vinod Makhijani, Vice President and Project Leader, Roche Sequencing Business Development. “While several technical challenges remain on the path towards commercial readiness, we’re optimistic about our ability to tackle them with the joint expertise and resources of the Roche-Stratos team.”

“Roche Ventures and Fisk Ventures both have exercised their right under last year’s Series B financing to purchase additional shares based on our milestone success. Roche will invest an additional $10 million and Fisk Ventures $5 million. This will complete our $30 million Series B funding,” said Allan Stephan, CEO, Stratos Genomics.

About Stratos Genomics

Stratos Genomics’ goal is to establish the next gold standard of DNA sequencing with its flagship ‘Sequencing by Expansion’ (SBX™) method. SBX is a simple, elegant, single-molecule detection process that circumvents the limitations of competing technologies, allowing accurate, ultra-low-cost whole genome sequencing. Established in 2007, Stratos Genomics Inc. is a spin-out of Seattle-based Stratos Group LLC.

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Joe Horsman