Wobble Genomics, Edinburgh spinout, raises £8.5m

Wobble FD John Duncan, CEO Richard Kuo and chair Nicola Broughton

Wobble Genomics, a University of Edinburgh spinout whose novel approach to RNA sequencing could revolutionise fields of biotechnology, has raised £8.5 million to help commercialise its technology.

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

Wobble, 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.

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, who is the company’s CEO, 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.

“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.”

Lee Lindley of Mercia Ventures said: “Wobble’s technology has far reaching applications including the potential to make precision medicine, and the improved patients 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.”