BGI-challenger Yikon Genomics Secures over CNY 220 Million
Yikon Genomics, a Shanghai-based reproductive genetic service and cancer diagnosis provider, secured over CNY 220 million to invest in R&D for its maternal and child health-focused products.
Rising awareness of the importance of maternal and child health has boosted the demand for embryo screening analyses globally. Yikon Genomics (亿康基因) has been offering genetic tests to help parents navigate heritable genetic problems since its establishment in 2002.
A unique demographic structure, the ‘relaxed’ family planning policies of Beijing from 2016 onwards and the rise of the 'new middle class' has created a new wave of demand for maternal services in China.
Yikon is offering a series of next-generation genetic tests: PGT-M and PGT-A. These tests support maternal and child health as well as helping personalized cancer therapies. Yet, the company claimed that it is also shifting its attention towards maternal health.
BGI Genomics (300676: SH), China's largest genome sequencing-company, has long been the most significant Chinese figure in the global Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Market, challenging its peer from the US, Illumina (ILMN: NASDAQ).
Yikon Genomics, a small player in an arena dominated by giants, claims to have a 97%+ success rate on Non-Invasive PGT-A embryos, with an even higher rate for day 5/6 embryos. Yikon urges the clinics “not to miss the chance of ordering now.” Yet it is common amongst PGT-A and PGT-M tests providers to claim over 98% percent accuracy.
The leading investor of the Series C funding round, Jinhe Capital (金阖资本) is a KingMed Diagnostics (603882: SH)-backed fund. The Vice President of Jinhe Capital, Hao Bixi (郝必喜), has stated his commitment to providing genetic diagnosis services “for all Chinese,” yet he did not mention an overseas market expansion plan.