Wobble Genomics' novel approach to RNA sequencing attracts £8.5M investment

RNA sequencing tech offers potential across fields like drug discovery, research, agriculture, and ecology.
Wobble Genomics' novel approach to RNA sequencing attracts £8.5M investment

University of Edinburgh spin-out Wobble Genomics announced today that it has raised £8.5 million to help commercialise its technology. 

Wobble is currently operating in stealth mode and has found a way to detect previously invisible 'full-length' RNA. The latest funding round brings the total amount raised by the company to date to over £10.5 million. 

Genetic sequencing offers a way to understand the behaviour of cells. Current techniques primarily focus on DNA; however, it is the RNA molecules that ultimately determine their behaviour. Therefore, RNA sequencing can provide a better understanding of how cells will react in different situations.  

Historically, using RNA sequencing for many applications has been difficult due to RNA's inherent instability, complex molecular structure, and abundance of molecules. In addition, current techniques known as 'short read sequencing' can only measure small fragments of RNA, which does not capture important information.

Wobble's novel approach overcomes these challenges and enables long-read sequencing, allowing for optimal detection of full-length RNA. 

The technology could have wide-ranging applications, from drug development and research to agriculture and ecology.  

Wobble CEO Dr Richard Kuo said: 

"Genetic sequencing has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s. 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.

We are pleased to receive backing from some of the UK's leading life science investors, highlighting its potential. The funding will help us to pursue our mission to reveal the unseen world of RNA and unlock exciting new applications." 

Mercia Ventures and BGF led the funding round, which was backed by IQ Capital, EOS Advisors, and Old College Capital, the university's venture fund.  

Lee Lindley of Mercia Ventures added: 

"Wobble's technology has far-reaching applications, including the potential to make precision medicine and the improved patient outcomes that this would deliver a reality.

It is particularly exciting that, unlike with many early-stage companies, the science behind it is already proven, so the funding can be used to further develop and commercialise the technology." 

Jo Smart of BGF said: 

"Wobble has developed a full-stack approach to identifying and analysing RNA markers — an exciting field of research and development in the biotechnology sector — which has the potential to revolutionise the early detection of cancer markers from blood.

We look forward to bringing our considerable experience in the life sciences market to support the business as it continues to build further validation and guide how the technology is taken to market." 

  • Lead image: Wooble Genomics. Photo: uncredited. 
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