Longas Technologies Pty Ltd
Longas has developed Morphoseq™, a disruptive technology designed to dramatically improve the performance of industry-standard NGS platforms, by increasing effective read lengths, with benefits in accuracy and cost efficiency. Morphoseq effectively converts short read sequencers into virtual ‘long read’ sequencers, enabling finished-quality genome assemblies with high accuracy, including resolution of difficult-to-assemble genomic regions.
Longas is a spin out from the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), initially based on research led by Professor Aaron Darling, a world-leading computational biologist and co-founders Professor Ian Charles and Dr. Catherine Burke. The Company was founded in 2015, operating in stealth mode until its public launch in May 2019.
Based in Sydney Australia, the Company is headed by renowned NGS leader, Nick McCooke and is funded by Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and investment from the Company’s founders and directors.
The technology is nearing the final stages of validation and not currently available for end-users. Regular updates will be provided including new data that are generated using the platform.
Longas is actively seeking partners to support the commercial development of its technology.
Dr. Stephen Thompson - Chairman
Stephen is a founding partner and Managing Director of Brandon Capital Partners, which manages Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF).
Before moving to Australia Stephen was a Director of Apax Partners based in London. Prior to joining Apax Partners, he fulfilled roles in product development with UK biotechnology company Cantab Pharmaceuticals. Earlier, Stephen spent ten years as a research immunologist in London and California.
Stephen is a director of, MecRx P/L, OncoRes Medical P/L, Respirion Pharmaceuticals P/L, Vaxxas P/L, a former Director of Elastagen P/L (acquired by Allergan) and a Director of the Australian Investment Council (formerly AVCAL).
Stephen has a PhD in Immunology from Kings College London and an MBA, specialising in Entrepreneurship, from Imperial College London. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Nick McCooke – CEO
Nick is a renowned NGS leader with international executive management experience in healthcare and technology businesses.
He was founding CEO of Solexa, from the time of its spin-out from the University of Cambridge in 2000 to its NASDAQ listing in 2005. He led the development of the world’s leading Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS) technology, which became the basis of Illumina’s NGS product line.
Currently pursuing a portfolio career, with a focus on disruptive genomics technologies, he is a Non-Executive Director of Evonetix Ltd and Bioventix plc. Prior board and leadership positions in the UK, Belgium, USA and Japan include DNA Electronics, inventor of semiconductor sequencing, BioGazelle, Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, Pronota, Solexa, Rapigene, Innovex, Quintiles and Celltech, as well as a Trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities.
Nick has an MBA from London Business School and is a graduate in engineering.
Professor Ian Charles – Co-founder, Director and Scientific Advisor
Ian is an entrepreneurial scientist with international leadership roles spanning big pharma, biotech and academia focused on translational research,
He is founding Director of the Quadram Institute, UK and was the former founding Director of the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). His current research focus is on infectious diseases and the microbiome, and development of ‘omics technologies that ultimately impact on health and disease. He currently also serves as Non-Executive Director of Genus plc.
A serial entrepreneur with a track record of success, he was the co-founder and CSO of two anti-infectives drug discovery companies: Arrow Therapeutics (sold to AstraZeneca) and Auspherix. His earlier industry career has included leading groups at the Wellcome Laboratories, UK and at Glaxo-Wellcome, with academic positions including being a founding member of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London (UCL), and positions at Sheffield, Cambridge and Leicester Universities.
Ian has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Leicester.
David Beins – UTS representative
David has a unique blend of expertise gained from working as an executive in the life sciences field for over 15 years and more recently in research management and tech transfer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
He is Executive Manager, Strategic Initiatives, UTS Research Office. Prior to joining UTS David worked for ARENA, the $2.5 billion federal government agency responsible for building renewable energy capacity in Australia, where he managed a portfolio of over one hundred solar R&D investments, valued at approximately $500 million.
Earlier in his career David was Managing Director and CEO of BioLayer Corporation (now called Anteo Diagnostics), an ASX-listed biotech company, and before that he was Operations Manager at Bioclone Australia, an OEM producing in-vitro diagnostics kits that was acquired by Hitachi Chemical Co. He has also held a number of senior roles in Hoffman la-Roche, including Country Manager of its diagnostics business in Indonesia, and Senior Regional Business Development manager across 14 countries in the Asia Pacific, based in Singapore.
David has also served as non-executive director on the boards of Helmedix, a UTS spin out company and Cicada Innovations (previously known as ATP Innovations) a world-leading incubator based in the Australian Technology Park, Sydney.
David has a BSC (Hons) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney and an MBA from Macquarie University