Gene+ Technology, an oncology gene testing and precision medicine startup in China, announced on Monday that it has closed nearly 200 million yuan ($28 million) in a Series B round of financing led by Shenzhen-based private equity firm Co-Stone Asset Management.
A group of Chinese investors including genome sequencing major BGI Group, venture capital firm Volcanics Venture, Green Pine Capital Partners, Shenzhen-listed IT service management firm UEC Group, and Chengdu-based investment company Desun Asset poured money into the new round.
The investment into the startup comes when the global next-generation sequencing (NGS) market is currently dominated by North America and Europe. Asia is expected to experience high growth due to rising investment in India and China on research and development of NGS in the field of oncology and transmissible diseases, according to a report from PMR Research.
NGS, also known as “high-throughput sequencing,” is the catch-all term used to describe a number of different modern sequencing technologies that allow for sequencing of DNA and RNA much quickly and cost-effectively than the previously-used Sanger sequencing. Such technology helps identify the genetic changes in a patient’s tumour to determine their treatment, which is called “precision medicine.”
“China’s oncology gene testing industry is stepping into a new phase after vigorous development and accumulation in the early stage,” said Huang Yiling, executive director of Co-Stone Asset Management. “Clinical standardization, autonomous and controllable adoption of core platforms, cost reduction, and efficient usage of medical resources will become new driving forces to move the industry forward.”
Gene+ Technology, founded in April 2015 and based in Beijing, enables the prevention and early detection of tumours, as well as providing data for the implementation of precision medicine. Based on the domestic NGS platform and oncology big data, the company is also involved in the production of medical devices.
With over 400 employees, the company has built medical examination labs, gene research institutes and medical device production bases in Beijing, Shenzhen, and eastern China’s Suzhou city. The startup has accumulated nearly 120,000 oncology case reports through cooperation with more than 400 large-scale hospitals, pharma companies and scientific research institutions, according to the statement.
Proceeds will be used to finance the clinical application and commercialization of its offerings on the domestic NGS platform. The company will also increase investments in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of tumours.
Gene+ Technology raised 50 million yuan ($7 million) in a strategic investment from BGI Group in January 2019. The company also completed a Series A round worth 200 million yuan ($28 million) led by BGI Group with participation from Volcanics Venture and Green Pine Capital Partners in August 2016.