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Edinburgh RNA sequencing spinout raises £8.5m

Wobble Genomics
Image credit: Wobble Genomics

A biotech spinout from the University of Edinburgh developing RNA sequencing technology that could speed up drug development has raised £8.5m in funding.

Wobble Genomics claims its technology can overcome challenges for sequencing RNA, a molecule present in most living organisms and viruses.

Challenges include RNA’s complex molecular structure and instability.

Potential applications for Wobble’s RNA sequencing include detecting cancer markers from blood, as well as uses in agriculture and ecology.

Founded in 2021 by bioengineering expert Dr Richard Kuo, Wobble Genomics says its approach can enable “long-read sequencing” to detect the full length of RNA.

The all-equity pre-Series A round was led by investment firms Mercia Ventures and BGF. The spinout was also backed by IQ Capital, EOS Advisors and Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture fund.

It brings the startup’s total funding to over £10.5m.

“Genetic sequencing has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s,” said Kuo, who is also the CEO of Wobble Genomics.

“The industry is now moving past short-read towards long-read sequencing, with long-read RNA sequencing being one of the most exciting new developments in biotechnology. We believe our solution could accelerate a new wave of biotechnology innovations.”

Wobble Genomics said it will use the additional funding to commercialise its technology and double its team of 10 over the next two years.

Mercia Ventures’ Lee Lindley said that Wobble Genomics technology has “far-reaching applications including the potential to make precision medicine”.

When Wobble Genomics comes out of stealth and commercialises its technology it will be competing with London-listed Oxford Nanopore, which this week pushed back its timeline to break even.