ACT Genomics reels in $12.5M to expand cancer testing presence in Asia

Taiwan's ACT Genomics roped in $12.5 million in Series B funding to spur development of its cancer tests and to chart growth in Asia's fast-growing diagnostics market.

Hotung Group and CDIB Capital Management led the round. Existing investors such as Eminent II VC, Hua Nan Venture Capital, President International Development and UMC Capital also chipped in funds.

Taipei-based ACT plans to use the cash to expand domestically and abroad in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. The company will also use some of the proceeds to ramp up its commercial channels "to drive further global expansion" after it moved into the Asia Pacific region earlier this year, ACT said in a statement.

The funding comes more than a year after the company locked down $8 million in its first private round. In February 2015, ACT raked in cash to support its new portfolio of molecular diagnostics for cancer monitoring.

The company's ACTDrug and ACTOnco tests use next-generation sequencing and multiplex molecular testing platforms to screen for more than 400 cancer-related genes in tumor samples. Information from the tests could help companies developed more personalized therapies and identify biomarkers for companion diagnostics, or tests that help match patients with suitable treatments.

"The R&D progress we made in the past 6 months has impressed the existing and new investors," ACT CEO Hua-Chien Chen said at the time. "The additional capital will allow us to continue building robust molecular assays and innovative bioinformatics engine to integrate genome guided medicine database."

Expanding in the rapidly growing Asia testing market could pay off for ACT. The global cancer profiling sector is expected to grow by $35 billion by 2018, and tapping into new markets in Asia will play a key role in diagnostic companies' growth.

- read the statement