With a proof of concept in hand, startup NobleGen Biosciences is setting up at the VDC to develop and commercialize a single-molecule sequencing technology that uses arrays of solid-state nanopores and optical detection.
The method comes from the lab of Amit Meller at BU and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Meller filed his first patents on the technology while working at Harvard. NobleGen recently licensed a patent portfolio from Harvard and BU that includes additional IP from Meller’s research at BU.
The company is led by CEO Frank Feist and Phil Buzby, former head of biochemistry at Helicos BioSciences. Feist joined the company earlier this year after serving as executive director of molecular diagnostic firm Advalytix, acquired by Beckman Coulter.
NobleGen’s fourth-generation sequencing platform could conceivably be in the market in the 2014.
NobleGen’s sequencing platform will differ from others in that its biochemistry and readout will be modular and physically separate, making it extremely low cost. Unlike third-generation DNA sequencing methods, the new nanopore method does not rely on enzymes whose activity limits the rate at which DNA sequences can be read.
NobleGen is the third life science startup in the last two months to join the VDC. The others are 4s3 Bioscience and Novophage Therapeutics.The VDC had been working with each while they obtained seed financing.
The Venture Development Center is Boston’s leading startup incubator for technology and life science companies.