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British biotech Oxford Nanopore prepares for $3 billion IPO

Oxford Nanopore made a statement that it has started preparing for an IPO, which could value the U.K.-based biotech revolutionizing real-time genetic sequencing $3.17 billion. Shares in IP Group rose 2% at 122.40 pence in London trading.

The biotech company expects to take place in the second half of the year on the London Stock Exchange though it noted that the timing of a listing is based on the market. Oxford nanopore was valued at £2.3 billion after intellectual property-based business developer IP Group IPO, +3.96%, which owns a 15% stake of the company, valued its holding at £340.3 million.

The company is one of the U.K.’s rare “unicorns” that is one of the unlisted technology companies valued at more than £1 billion. The company counts U.S. drug company Amgen AMGN, -2.04%, Singapore’s sovereign-wealth fund GIC, China Construction Bank International, and asset management company Schroders SDR, 0.58% among its investors.

The company was founded by Gordon Sanghera, a chief executive officer in 2005. He started the company as a spinout from the University of Oxford. The Oxford Nanopore set out to revolutionize DNA sequencing by providing a fast, cheap way of providing real-time surveillance.

The company’s handheld DNA sequencing device is called MinION. The size of a cell phone that runs off a laptop USB plug and costs just $1,000, making it simpler, cheaper, and faster to sequence without the need for big clinical laboratories.The company said that IPO would allow it to gain access to deeper, international pools of capital to support its growth plans, and allow it to scale up its manufacturing and commercial functions.

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