Genome Sequencing Firm Burning Rock Raises USD 126 million from Singapore Government
COVID-19 and China
There are 4 million new oncosis cases annually in China. PHOTO: Credit to Burning Rock

Beijing-headquartered cancer genome sequencing and medical researching company Burning Rock (燃石医学) announced today that it has closed Series C round of funding of CNY 850 million (USD 126 million) led by Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC).

Burning Rock was founded in 2014, it focuses on providing NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) products and services for precision medicine in cancer treatment. Its products include cancer post-treatment surveillance, early diagnosis of cancer, and tumor genome big data. The company released its first product of “Gene Detection Panel for Target Drug of Lung Cancer”, which aimed to conduct gene detection for lung cancer patients and assist the patients and their attending doctors to select target drugs with the best individualistic curative effect.

Burning Rock’s last round of funding was led by Sequoia Capital China, who injected the company with CNY 300 million along with Lyfe Capital, Lenovo, and CMB International. All of the backers of Burning Rock’s Series B funding except Lenovo followed in this round.

Public information shows that the company has served over 100 hospitals in China by providing instructions on cancer target drug using and surveillance services for cancer patients. By doing so the company has collected a huge amount of data to train its NGS technology. The company’s partners include the Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group, America illumina Co., AstraZenaca, and Agilent Technologies.

One of its rivals, Beijing-based cancer genome sequencing company Geneplus (吉因加) raised CNY 50 million (about USD 7.4 million) in its latest funding round led by its previous investor Beijing Genomics Institute last month, EqualOcean reported. GenePlus has researched and developed its core technologies such as ER-seq, IR-Seq, mTBI, and mClone. These technologies can be applied to precise tumor prevention and treatment, including tumor pharmacy, response evaluation, and postoperative monitoring. The company uses Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology and High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms to accumulate tumor genome big data and provide services to research and medical institutes.

There are 4 million new oncosis cases annually in China, according to a research report by JingData Academy. Given that there are much more relapsing cases every year, it's for certain that there is an enormous tumor genome sequencing market in China. The research indicates that the potential market will be over CNY 10 billion in 5 years from middle 2018 when the report was released.

"The precision medicine in cancer treatment is based on precise sequencing, and NGS will be a regular way of precise sequencing with the boosting of new target medicines," says HAN Yusheng (汉雨生), co-founder and CEO of Burning Rock. "The market volume of precise tumor sequencing has continuously increased at the rate over 100% in the past three years, and I predict that the growth rate will continue in the next three years."

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