Is Oxford Nanopore Technology Ready for Clinical Diagnostics?
Bridging the “valley of death” between scientific and technological innovation and clinical implementation is a cultural challenge for many organizations, including the NHS. Nanopore sequencing is a good example of a potentially disruptive genomics technology that looks likely to converge with mainstream clinical genomics in the near future. Since the technology is packaged in a range of products from the relatively small scale (Gigabase) O.N. Minion to the Terabase-scale Promethion, service developers have the opportunity to cross the valley of death using a “rope bridge” prior to investing in major infrastructure. Our objective is to validate diagnostic services using Oxford Nanopore’s Minion in the first instance and to evaluate the cost and performance compared to existing sequencing technology in areas such as tumour DNA sequencing (and circulating tumour DNA), virology, microbiology, genetics and HLA-typing. To facilitate this we are developing R&D collaborations and securing grant funding and commercial backing.