Report: BGI readies for big genomics IPO

BGI is reportedly in the hunt for an initial public offering of its institutional client business. Forbes reported the IPO plan in a broader profile of the Chinese company from its humble beginnings near an airport in Beijing in 1999 to the world's largest provider of DNA sequencing services.

As one might imagine, BGI Shenzhen also invests heavily in large-scale computing and bioinformatics required for genomics Big Data from DNA sequencers.

While no dollar or yuan details were revealed about the IPO, Forbes reported that the company's institutional client business accounts for more than 60% of its revenue and includes business from most of the world's largest pharmaceutical players. BGI plans to keep its retail business private.

Initial public offerings in life sciences and biotech have made a major comeback in 2013, with valuations of public companies sky high as investors bet up their shares. BGI could capitalize on the increased appetite for biotech IPOs this year and score some major returns for backers such as Sequoia Capital and Shenzhen Capital, which aided BGI in financing its purchase this year of U.S. company Complete Genomics for $118 million.

One of the popular themes among this year's crop of biotech outfits with successful IPOs is personalized medicine. BGI fills an important role in this field by doing the foundational DNA sequencing that uncovers the genetic traits in patients that could lead researchers to better treatments for diseases.

- get more in the Forbes article