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Wobble Genomics raises £8.5m to reveal the ‘unseen world of RNA’

The University of Edinburgh spinout’s novel approach to RNA sequencing could revolutionise many fields in biotechnology.

7 March 2024

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

Wobble, which is currently operating in stealth mode, has found a way to detect previously invisible ‘full length’ RNA. The technology could have wide-ranging applications, from drug development and research to agriculture and ecology.

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

“We are pleased to receive backing from some of the UK’s leading life science investors, which highlights its potential. The funding will help us to pursue our mission to reveal the unseen world of RNA and unlock exciting new applications.”
Dr Richard Kuo
CEO, Wobble Genomics

Historically, it has been difficult to use RNA sequencing for many applications due to the inherent instability of RNA, its complex molecular structure and the 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.

Wobble was established in 2021 by Dr Richard Kuo, who has over 15 years’ experience in biology and bioengineering including over 10 years carrying out research into long-read RNA sequencing at the university’s Roslin Institute. The company, which currently employs a team of 10, expects to double in size in the next two years. The latest funding round brings the total amount raised by the company to date to over £10.5m.

Dr Kuo said: “Genetic sequencing has come a long way since its inception in the 1970’s. 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.”

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.

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