Genecast Biotechnology, a Chinese biotech startup that specialises in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and bioinformatics, has raised 300 million yuan ($43 million) in a Series D1 round of financing led by CICC Capital, an investment platform of China International Capital Corporation (CICC).
The round was joined by return backers Chinese TMT and healthcare-focused investment company Cowin Venture; Yahui Precision Medicine Fund, which mainly makes investments in the gene testing field; and Matrix Partners China, according to a statement on Wednesday.
Genecast was founded in November 2014 to develop biotech technologies such as bioinformatics and NGS, a DNA sequencing technology that can sequence an entire human genome within a single day. Through precision cancer diagnostics and companion diagnostics, the startup seeks to improve the treatment of cancers like lung cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer and oesophagal cancer, among others.
“Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, has been more frequently applied in the treatment of tumours. Genetic testing, in particular, plays a vital role in tumour treatment,” said Eric Yu Zhiyun, managing director of Matrix Partners China, in a statement. Yu leads the firm’s investments in the healthcare field.
“We believe there will be two trends in the future development of genetic testing for tumours: Firstly, the testing for gene mutation will increase and the second-generation sequencing will serve an increasingly important role. Secondly, the adoption of genetic testing will begin as early as when the development of innovative drugs starts,” said Yu.
Proceeds of the new round will be used to upgrade its technologies, products, research and development, as well as marketing, according to the statement.
The company aims to expand cooperation with overseas pharmaceutical companies in promoting clinical trials, which will help the firm foray into the global market.
The is the fifth investment raised by the Chinese biotech startup. Genecast closed 210 million yuan ($30 million) in a Series C round led by Matrix Partners China and Chinese private equity firm Loyal Valley Capital in February 2018. Yahui Precision Medical Fund and Cowin Venture also participated in the previous round.