New Pocket Size Nanopore Device Could Revolutionize Diagnostic and Other Testing

First of all, watch the video below.

A Santa Cruz company is now previewing a nanopore device that could be a major disruptor in molecular testing. The device is the size of a glucometer and could take all kinds of testing—perhaps someday even cancer-tracking liquid biopsies—into the home with its ease of use and ability to work with thousands of different assays.

Two Pore Guys, named for the pores not the guys, is a spinout from UC Santa Cruz and one of a growing biotech community on the west side of Santa Cruz, CA. The company has yet to do beta testing and is focused now on scaling up manufacturing of the small, relatively simple devices. CEO, Dan Heller, says Two Pore Guys has no plans to develop their own tests but will stay focused on the platform.

“We could make ten or fifteen assays and go to market with them, but why not let others make thousands and thousands of assays?” Dan asks. "They’ve already spent billions of dollars and decades developing primers or capture molecules for antibodies. Why not just give it a new life and let them sell it into the market? It's a revenue share."

So what tools might this replace? Dan lists the standard lab machines for PCR, HPLC, and mass spec. “There’s many uses of existing lab equipment that could be done on our device more quickly, cheaply, easily,” says Dan.

Based on recently developed nanopore technology, the small device looks remarkably straight forward. A molecule—just about any molecule-- is pulled through a nanopore by an electric current. The impedance of the current is the measure of the molecule. Though the device does not currently sequence DNA, its possibilities to replace other large life science tools does seem all the more real in a time when Oxford Nanopore’s small sequencing devices--also partly developed at UCSC—are proving themselves powerful tools.

Listening to Dan, the broad range of molecules and applications becomes dizzying: diagnostic testing such as liquid biopsy tests for cancer (the company is currently doing a study with UC San Francisco for a KRAS liquid biopsy test), infectious disease, border security, agriculture, animal health, and environmental testing.

It leaves us with this question in the end: why was this not done before?

"Cloud First" Insist IT Experts at 5th Annual Cloud Slam Conference

Thomas Barton is an IT engineer at Novartis whose job is to link things together.   When Barton wanted to upgrade the company’s middleware-software that connects one piece of software to another--he was encouraged by a colleague to turn to “the cloud.” 

Supreme Court Invalidates Myriad's BRCA Gene Patents, Allows for cDNA Patents

The Myriad gene patent case reached its final point today when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that will resonate throughout the life science industry for years to come.

In a rare unanimous ruling, the high court ruled that Myriad's BRCA gene patents are invalid.

China Fast Becoming No. 1 Market for Pharma with Greg Scott

This podcast was originally aired on October 27th, 2011

Sponsored by: BioConference Live


Greg Scott, Founder and President of ChinaBio(R) LLC, Bio and Contact Info

About ChinaBio Listen (9:53) About ChinaBio

Executive retreat 1st of its kind Listen (10:00) Executive retreat 1st of its kind

China becoming no.1 market for pharma Listen (4:11) China becoming no.1 market for pharma

Innovation Listen (9:25) Innovation

Will China soon have a Steve Jobs Listen (6:20) Will China soon have a Steve Jobs?

What is the opportunity for American businesses Listen (3:34) What is the opportunity for American businesses?

Life in China for the American Listen (7:46) Life in China for the American

China doesn't need our help, we need their help Listen (1:42) China doesn't need our help, we need theirs

In 2007, biotech angel investor Greg Scott started ChinaBio to connect China’s life science community with the world, which has helped large, multinational companies such as Pfizer, Roche and Life Technologies, and smaller domestic Chinese companies achieve success in China. ChinaBio has organized 20 conferences, and has generated $400M in funding.   Greg puts out a widely read newsletter on China’s life science industry, ChinaBio® Today. 

Biotech in China Part II: Crown Bio and Nigel Beeley

Podcast Sponsor: Biotix, Inc. - Free Samples


Alex Wu, CEO, Crown Bio, , Bio and Contact Info

Listen (2:52) China as a market growing rapidly

Listen (8:20) Big challenge is to change from low cost producers to innovators

Listen (10:55) What is being done to foster innovation?

Listen (3:32) Government offering resources, country more open

Nigel Beeley, CEO, Enrqi, Inc., Bio and Contact Info

Listen (1:50) CRO's doing more but not drivers of innovation

Listen (2:12) Is innovation happening?

Listen (5:25) Better IP protection and improved regulation

Listen (5:05) Sea Turtles not big risk takers or innovators

Listen (4:45) Working life in China

Listen (3:42) Quality

Listen (8:46) Working with the government

Today we present our second show in a series on the booming life science industry in China. As we mentioned in our first show, the Chinese government is investing billions in the life sciences and has plans to expand basic health coverage to the entire population by 2020. The last 10 years has seen the biotech industry in China come of age from a few CRO’s providing cost cutting advantage to thousands of life science companies struggling to tip the advantage scale from cost cutting to innovation. Is the innovation happening? We ask two guests today.

Alex Wu is the CEO of Crown Biosciences. His company is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has two divisions in China. Alex says that Crown Bio’s edge comes from innovation. Nigel Beeley has been working in China since some of the first CRO’s set up shop. He’s seen the business change incredibly and shares his hopes and his skepticisms about biotech in China.

See a recent article by David Ewing Duncan, China: The next biotech superpower?

Biotech in China Part I: Epitomics and Advanced Biologics

Podcast Sponsor: Biotix, Inc. - Free Samples


Guo-Liang Yu, Ph D, CEO, Epitomics, Bio and Contact Info

Why expand into China Listen (1:54) Why expand into China

Bio most popular degree Listen (6:15) Bio most popular degree

Biggest challenges Listen (2:39) Biggest challenges

Biotech in China divides into three periods Listen (4:41) Biotech in China divides into three periods

Is innovation happening? Listen (2:58) Is innovation happening?

David Wilson, Senior VP, Advanced Biologix, Bio and Contact Info

China Medical City Listen (7:29) China Medical City

Positives and Negatives Listen (2:08) Positives and Negatives

China communist, but capitalist Listen (9:12) China communist, but capitalist

Advice to those doing business in China Listen (6:52) Advice to those doing business in China

Our program today is the first in an ongoing series about the incredible growth of biotech in China. According to Fareed Zacharia of Newsweek, China is the big story of the last decade. Their economy has grown around 10 percent a year. Their GDP last year was $4.8 Trillion making China the second-largest economy in the world today. “China cannot develop without developing science and technology,” said Premier Wen Jiabao in late May. “Our future relies on the future of science and technology.”

And biotech is a big part of that future. The government is investing billions in a bio“megaproject," and has plans to expand basic health care coverage to the entire population by 2020. As the middle class grows, so does the demand for pharmaceutical drugs. It’s said that China will be the third largest drug market by 2013.

There’s also been a major push by the government this last year for innovation. To help in this area, there are government schemes to lure back Chinese scientists working overseas. These returning ex-pats, or sea turtles as they’re known, are expected to bring innovation to Chinese biotech and move it beyond just a cheap place to manufacture.

See a recent article by David Ewing Duncan, China: The next biotech superpower?

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