Virtue Diagnostics racks up $100M to make in vitro testing affordable, accessible in China

Virtue may be its own reward, but for Virtue Diagnostics, at least, a fresh infusion of venture capital is a close second.

Only about two years after its founding, the in vitro testing company has already reached megaround status in its VC investments, with a newly closed series B financing totaling $100 million.

The funding round was co-led by Sequoia China, Morningside Ventures and Oriza Holdings. Previous backers Lilly Asia Ventures and PerkinElmer Ventures also re-upped their investments in the company.

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Virtue will use the new funding to pursue its goal of making affordable clinical diagnostics more widely available in China and neighboring countries. It maintains a corporate and R&D headquarters in Singapore as well as a manufacturing base in Suzhou, China, and a contract research and clinical lab facility in Beijing.

“Virtue Diagnostics’ strategy is to introduce new technology platforms by cooperating with global technology companies, developing products and solutions specifically geared for the Chinese market and accelerating the time to market through our highly experienced team of R&D, registration and commercial professionals,” CEO Johnson Zhang said in a statement. “Virtue Diagnostics will introduce innovative diagnostic technologies in China and concurrently in emerging markets through mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and local entities.”

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The company is developing clinical testing technology to run diagnostics for cancer, infections and chronic diseases. Its testing offerings are meant to span the entire disease timeline, providing early screening, definitive diagnoses, treatment tracking and, finally, residual disease management.

Among the technologies currently in Virtue’s portfolio are a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer launched in the third quarter of 2021, plus a range of multiplex pathology tools it inherited through last year’s acquisition of Panovue.

“Under the pressure of centralized procurement policies, the development of Chinese IVD companies in the future will rely more on their innovation capabilities. They need to increase the proportion of new products to better adapt to the medical reform,” said Michael Duan, finance director of PerkinElmer’s Asia business.

“In addition to the revenue from innovation, tapping overseas markets has also become a new source of revenue for Chinese IVD companies," Duan said. "Developing countries with smaller scale but faster growth will become the main battlefield.”