UK biotech Oxford Nanopore, which developed and sells the world's only portable, real-time DNA/RNA sequencer, has raised £100m through a private placing of shares.

The investment round was led by new investor GT Healthcare Capital Partners, a pan-Asian fund with special reach in China, as well as existing investor Woodford Investment Management.

The firm's marketed products include MinION, a hand-held DNA sequencer that was used on board the International Space Station, PromethION, a fully scalable, high-throughput, on-demand RNA/DNA sequencer, and VolTRAX an automated sample/library preparation device.

The new funds will be used to expand the firm's commercial operations across a range of territories, including Asia, ramp-up production and sales and marketing capability for its existing products, and further develop and expand its innovative pipeline, including the mobile-phone compatible SmidgION sequencer, it noted.

"The active community of scientists using the MinION has shown that there are myriad possibilities for real time, scalable DNA sequencing with nanopore devices," commented Oxford Nanopore's chief executive Gordon Sanghera. "We are looking forward to accelerating the development and adoption of those applications, towards our goal of enabling the analysis of any living thing, by anyone, anywhere."

This transaction brings the total funds raised by the company to £351 million.