Just months after collecting $90 million to support the launch of its compact DNA sequencing hardware, GenapSys has raised another $75 million to finance its global expansion with its eyes set on the Asia-Pacific market and the expanding coronavirus outbreak.
The company’s high-throughput sequencer—which sits on a tabletop and weighs less than 10 pounds—is being launched in South Korea, Singapore, Japan and China as part of more than 25 recently inked distribution deals.
As of Feb. 6, the World Health Organization has tracked over 28,250 confirmed cases and 565 deaths from the novel coronavirus that was discovered in Wuhan, China, last December, with reports from 25 countries.
GenapSys said it has been approached by the Chinese government's Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help provide sequencing support. The company is also currently looking for partners in local health agencies and researchers, as well as assay providers and diagnostics developers, to help roll out its product to the region and track different coronavirus strains and potential mutations. With a footprint about the size of a piece of printer paper and running off a normal power outlet, the company said its portable sequencer could be used in a variety of settings.
Last November, the company’s $90 million series C round was led by Foresite Capital, which highlighted the new system’s capacity to provide low-cost, distributed sequencing. At about $10,000 per unit, GenapSys’ platform uses direct-contact semiconductor-based chips with millions of electronic sensors that track impedance changes as nucleotides assemble.
The company’s latest financing comes from Oxford Finance, bringing GenapSys’ total funding raised up to $241 million. The company hopes to scale up its global presence in not just infectious diseases but also in cancer research, personalized medicine, food science, forensics and other scientific applications.