The appetite of Chinese investors for Cambridge UK science & technology business is evident again in a significant Series B financing just completed by genomics software company Congenica.
The round has been completed with additional investments from new strategically important investors BGI Genomics (BGI), a recognised global leader in genomics, Healthlink Capital (Healthlink) – another well-established China-based life-science investor – and Future Planet Capital, a global innovation fund.
Congenica says it is not able to disclose the amount contributed by individual new investors at this time. The company previously announced that it raised £8 million in the first round of Series B funding with existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital plc and Amadeus Capital Partners participating alongside new investor, Parkwalk Advisors.
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Congenica’s proprietary enterprise software, Sapientia™ is used in the fight against inherited diseases.
Alongside investing, BGI Genomics and UniteGen, Healthlink’s associated clinical diagnostic lab, have signed commercial contracts to use Sapientia to support their operations in China.
These contracts represent Congenica’s first commercialisation in the territory and are consistent with the company’s international ambitions.
CEO Tom Weaver (pictured) said: “This additional investment enhances our ability and commitment to deploy our software platform to international markets – particularly China, where we have established a scalable partnering model to transform the clinical genetic testing market.
“Genomic technology will be central to the next generation healthcare system that is evolving rapidly in China and we are delighted to be working with strategic partners, both at the financial and commercial level, who are at the forefront of that change and committed to the benefits it will bring to patients.”
BGI Genomics, one of the world’s largest DNA sequencing service provider, will use Sapientia as a genome annotation and clinical decision support platform for in-house programs and through its BGI-online service, enabling the adoption of genome-based genetic diagnosis in routine diagnostic testing.
John Qiu, co-founder and President of Healthlink, said: “We are excited to invest in Congenica as the company pushes for international adoption and expansion, particularly to large population bases in the US and China.
“We believe that, as whole genome analysis becomes mainstream, Congenica’s sophisticated data interpretation and clinical reporting platform has the potential to serve as a foundational tool for next-generation rare genetic disease diagnosis and treatment in a number of pre-birth and paediatric care and research applications in China, particularly as birth rates rise following the relaxation of the one-child rule.”
Andy Richards, Congenica’s chairman, added: “With three new investors joining the syndicate, we have formally closed what has been a highly successful financing round.
“We are now well capitalised and strongly positioned with sophisticated and supportive investors to execute on our international expansion plans and to continue innovating and developing our Sapientia platform.”