DNA Electronics' Chris Toumazou wins European Inventor Award for Research
Pioneering "lab on a chip" DNA testing paves way for rapid diagnosis of critical diseases
The Chairman and CEO of DNA Electronics, a provider of point-of-care genomic diagnostics solutions for medical and healthcare applications, Chris Toumazou, has been awarded the European Inventor Award 2014 in the Research category, for his rapid USB-based DNA testing device.
Announced at the European Inventor Awards ceremony in Berlin on June 17th 2014, Toumazou’s win recognises his contribution to medical research with his ground-breaking invention. The device, which can show the results of a DNA test within minutes, uses silicon transistors to identify DNA and RNA, offering a simpler, cheaper and more discrete alternative to existing DNA analysis equipment.
The invention involves the amplification and detection of DNA and other biomolecules using pH measurement, providing the ground work for DNA Electronics’ molecular diagnostics platform Genalysis®. With the capability of identifying genomic sequences, not only in patients, but also in infectious agents, the company is developing products that will provide clinicians with rapid actionable diagnosis of life-threatening conditions.
Commenting on the win, COO of DNA Electronics, Steve Allen said: “We are enormously pleased for Chris on his win yesterday. To be recognised by the European Patents Office and awarded this honour by the European Inventors Awards judges, is a great testament to his invention and the potential it holds for DNA Electronics going forward.”
Chris Toumazou commented further, “I am delighted to have won this award. I am incredibly pleased that our semiconductor based DNA technology, that has already found wide spread use in whole genome sequencing, will shortly be applied to point-of-care genetic testing.”
About DNA Electronics:
DNA Electronics is a developer of semiconductor solutions for real-time nucleic acid detection which enables faster, simpler and more cost-effective DNA analysis platforms.
A spin-out of Imperial College London, DNA Electronics was founded by Professor Toumazou following his invention of the company’s core technology that allows CMOS transistors to be switched on and off with DNA – the key invention enabling semiconductor-based sequencing. Prof. Toumazou’s innovation has culminated in the world’s first DNA logic on standard CMOS technology.
The company’s IP portfolio includes techniques for monitoring nucleotide insertions using ion-sensitive transistors, enabling label-free electronic DNA sequencing and diagnostics platforms. DNA Electronics (DNAe) has developed the ground-breaking Genalysis® platform of disposable silicon chip-based solutions for real-time nucleic acid sequence detection at the point of care, providing end users with technology as yet unavailable outside a laboratory.
DNA Electronics has a non-exclusive, field-limited licensing agreement with Ion Torrent (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), whose next generation sequencing technology is based on DNA Electronics’ semiconductor sequencing IP. DNA Electronics has also licensed its Genalysis® technology platform to GENEU™, a company that is delivering on-the-spot genetic analytics services for cosmetics and skincare applications.
For more information: www.dnae.co.uk
PRESS CONTACT for DNA Electronics:
Claire Furner, EvokedSet
Mobile: +44 (0)7539 862893
About Chris Toumazou:
With a degree in electrical engineering, Chris Toumazou began his career developing energy-efficient microchips for mobile phones. At age 33, he became the youngest professor ever to teach at Imperial College London, where he focused on ways of combining electrical engineering and microchip technology with biomedicine - an achievement all the more remarkable for someone who left school at 16 with no qualifications.
Toumazou’s decision to delve into the world of genetic disorders came about because his son Marcus, who has a rare hereditary form of kidney disease. He aimed for a technology that would facilitate early detection, helping medicine go from healing illnesses to preventing them.
About the European Inventor Award:
Launched in 2006, the European Inventor Award is presented annually by the European Patent Office. The Award honours inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contributes to social progress, economic growth and prosperity. Fifteen finalists and, subsequently, the winners are chosen from among the nominees by a high-profile international jury which includes experts from business, politics, media, academia and research. The Award is presented in five categories: Industry, Research, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), Non-European Countries, and Lifetime Achievement. The general public is invited to vote online to select the winner of the Popular Prize from among the 15 finalists from 6 May.
About the EPO:
With almost 7 000 employees, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest European public service institutions. Its headquarters are in Munich and it also has offices in The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels. The EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.