Hong Kong-based Prenetics has raised a $10 million Series A round for its DNA testing technology that helps doctors provide more accurate diagnoses. Ping An Ventures, the VC arm of one of China’s largest insurance groups, led the round, with participation from Indonesia-based Venturra Capital, and existing investors – 500 Startups and COENT Venture.
The company’s iGenes product uses “a non-invasive buccal swab test” to collect DNA from the inside a patient’s mouth/cheek and then generate results for physicians with 48 hours straight to its mobile app. That information, the company claims, can help spot potential side effects from medicine and allow for “more precise” prescriptions. In turn, lives could be saved along with pain for patients.
The company’s tests cost less than $500 per patient and are sold to medical professions rather than directly to end users.“Companies like Uber, Spotify and Airbnb have changed our family lives today, But technology still hasn’t impacted medicine.” Prenetics CEO Danny Yeung told TechCrunch. “Many people will go to see a doctor but won’t be aware which drugs are best for them. It’s a big problem, 4.7 million people suffer from misdiagnosis just in the U.S. and China each year.”
Initially called Multigene when it started as a spin-off from Hong Kong’s City University, Prenetics previously raised $2.65 million to offer pre-natal screening for expectant moms. Later on, it changed its business to use genetics to battle issues with the potential to make a wider impact. That impact, according to the company, involves 190,000 deaths per year in China due to adverse reactions to medications. Using genetic testing capabilities and modern technology, Prenetics wants to avoid those fatalities.
The company’s tests cost less than $500 per patient and are sold to medical professions rather than directly to end users. Prenetics currently has a staff of 35, 22 of whom work in laboratories. Some of the new funds will be used for hiring new people, including a CTO, and in business development, medical affairs, operations, and the lab.