Guangzhou-based gene technology company Vision Medicals has completed a RMB 200 million (USD 31 million) Series C round led by Tencent and joined by existing investors including CICC Capital, CDH Investments, and CASH Capital, 36Kr reported.
Vision Medicals focuses on genetic technology and precision medicine and diagnosis for infectious diseases. The firm works with two core technologies, pathogen metagenomics (mNGS) diagnosis, and gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas12/13) rapid diagnosis.
The Guangzhou-headquartered company, which secured RMB 200 million in a Series B round last August, has served more than 800 medical institutions including the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center.
Vision Medicals participated in the early detection and genome analysis of the COVID-19 virus at the end of December 2019 and published its research in the Chinese Medical Journal in January 2020. Vision Medicals also develops coronavirus nucleic acid detection kits for the Chinese and European markets.
The genetic testing market in China has grown 30% annually in the past seven years, and is expected to hit RMB 41 billion (USD 6.3 billion) in 2024, said 36Kr, citing market research firm Zhiyan.
The costs for gene sequencing has dropped precipitously since 2007 worldwide. A personal genome test could currently range from under USD 100 to USD 2,000 depending on the type and complexity of the test, while it cost about USD 20,000 in 2010.
Several other companies in the genetic testing sector in China have also gained venture capital’s favor recently. Beijing-based Geneplus, which technologies are mainly used to detect cancer, raised RMB 250 million in November 2020, while GensKey, a firm that focuses on infection diagnosis, also founded in Beijing, secured RMB 230 million in a Series C round the same month.
Tencent, before investing in Vision Medicals, has also supported a slew of medical firms including Beijing-based AllinMD Orthopaedics Hospital, and Miaoshou Doctor, which manages an app that allows individuals to consult doctors via video or telephone call.