By Bio-IT World Staff
May 8, 2014 | This morning, DNA Electronics announced a significant expansion of its internal R&D, doubling its product development staff from 30 to 60 scientists. The company also brought on Steve Allen to serve as COO.
Technology developed at DNA Electronics has been foundational to the field of semiconductor sequencing. This technology, by which DNA's incorporation into polymerase releases protons that cause detectable pH changes on the surface of a semiconductor chip, is best known as the basis of the Ion Torrent line of gene sequencers, which are made through a licensing agreement between DNA Electronics and Thermo Fisher Scientific. However, DNA Electronics also produces its own rapid DNA tests under the brand Genalysis. Genalysis tests detect specific genetic markers, analyzing spit samples at the point of care and in under 30 minutes, bringing DNA testing to clinical samples. (For more details on the technology underlying DNA Electronics' product line, see "Powering Preventative Medicine.")
The expansion of product development announced today, which is funded by a commitment from the investor Genting Group, will be focused on expanding the Genalysis product line into new indications. Steve Allen was chosen to shepherd this tighter focus on independent products, based in part on his experience as a board member of Solexa at the time that company produced the sequencing-by-synthesis technology that now forms of the basis of market leader Illumina's gene sequencing instruments.
Founder and CEO of DNA Electronics, Chris Toumazou, said in a press statement, “The timing of this key appointment is excellent for DNA Electronics as we now push forward into developing our latest semiconductor-based genomic diagnostic systems. We are absolutely delighted to have an industry executive of Steve’s calibre join our management team and lead this new direction.”