23Mofang Completes the Series B Financing of RMB 40 Million, Marking the Popularization of Genetic Test
2017/8/16 | Source:天府软件园


On August 2, 23 Mofang, a company for genetic test located in the Zone E of Tianfu Software Park, announced its completion of the series B financing of RMB 40 million. Hanwang Technology Co., Ltd is the lead investor, followed by Yahui Medical Investment Management Center, Fenghou Capital and Qidian Capital. Proceeds from the financing will be used for the enlargement of test centers, research and development of products and expansion of the market.

 

It is reported that at present in China, 23 Mofang has become the company with the largest scale of financing in the field of direct-to-consumer genetic test. On January 3, 2017, 23 Mofang announced its obtaining of series A financing of RMB 20 million, with the largest investment from Yahui Medical Investment Management Center, followed by Hanwang Qichuang Investment Management L.P.


With the development of science and technology, the cost of genetic test slashes and the test result is more accurate and reliable. Risk based inspection and prevention for diseases like cancers could also be realized through genetic test. On the other hand, more attention paid to health, upgrading of consumption and the rise of the middle class all lead to the rapid development of the genetic test market.


It is known that 23 Mofang is a professional institution in China taking lead in providing individual customers with genetic test service. Based on the platform of the Internet, it combines data and algorithm with genetic test to create a new mode in the genetic test field. At present, 23 Mofang has launched its third generation of genetic test products. Using the biochip with 730,000 positions co-developed with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the global magnate in life sciences, over 300 items could be tested while the maximum cost is lower than RMB1000.

 

23 Mofang covers six main business fields including health risk, rare genetic diseases, drug reactions, etc. So far, 50,000 tests have been performed by 23 Mofang. Its users come from all the provinces, cities and autonomous regions of China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) as well as communities of overseas Chinese. According to Zhou Kun, CEO of 23 Mofang, the number of users of 23 Mofang is estimated to reach 100,000 at the end of this year. 

 

23 Mofang provides genetic test service directly on the Internet. After analyzing data of the tests, the platform will send the results to users, helping them to understand their health conditions and potential risk of diseases. When users ordering products on the Internet, 23 Mofang will send them with saliva collection tubes. Users collect 2ml sample of saliva in accordance with instructions and then send it back to the company.


After receiving the sample, researchers of the company will conduct DNA sequencing experiments for the sample, test it and analyze obtained data. When the analysis is completed, the result will be sent to the user. It usually takes 25 workdays from users collecting samples to their receiving results. Throughout this whole process, what users need to do is only the sample collection of saliva.

 

Companies providing genetic test service are numerous both at home and abroad, at uneven levels. Then, how can 23 Mofang ensure the accuracy of its test results? According to Zhou Kun, accuracy is ensured through the following 3 steps:

 

1. The Illumina sequencer is adopted, including the HiSeq series. The accuracy rate is as high as 99.9%. This is the first step to ensure the accuracy of test data using hardware devices.


2. An independent database is established through the continuous collection of global achievements in scientific researches for genetic tests and authoritative academic researches open to the public. Data obtained from experiments will be compared with these massive research results and then be operated to work out for users the risk of diseases and other characteristics of their genes. 


3. Postdoctoral scholars from elite universities like Fudan University and the University of California, San Francisco form an expert team. They all have work experience of over 10 years. Based on the gene information obtained from tests in the laboratory, experts of molecular information will re-confirm these results.


As for the price, with the development of technologies in foreign countries, cost for the whole genome sequencing has reduced from hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2001 to USD 1,000 at present. Direct-to-consumer genetic test in China starts to develop in 2014. However, according to Zhou Kun, some companies on the market actually sell products through some channels, which gives rise to price confusion. But via on-line sales, 23 Mofang helps users to save much cost. “At present in China, 23 Mofang is the most cost-effective genetic test institution with the maximum cost lower than RMB1000.” Zhou Kun said.