WuXi NextCode, which collects genomic data to sequence and analyze DNA, announced today that it has closed a $240 million round led by Sequoia Capital China. Temasek, 3W Partners, and Jack Ma’s private equity firm, Yunfeng Capital, also participated.
Founded in 2015, WuXi NextCode uses genomic data — or data related to DNA — to determine the functions of specific genes. The company is based between Cambridge, Massachusetts; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Shanghai and draws data from various sources, including national genome projects in England, Ireland, Qatar, Singapore, and Iceland, as well as global pharmaceutical companies and research hospitals in both the U.S. and China.
“In China, we just surpassed our 10,000th rare disease diagnostics case,” wrote WuXi NextCode cofounder and CEO Hannes Smárason, in an email to VentureBeat. “And we have introduced molecular rare disease diagnostics in the country.”
The data is drawn from B2B sources — through clinical diagnostics, target discovery, and clinical trials — and direct-to-consumer health care, using at-home “spit kits.” “The difference with 23andMe is that these products are more sophisticated and are aimed to deliver information relevant to health,” wrote Smárason.
Customers can choose to store the data either on premise or in the cloud, the latter of which allows users to collaborate and benefit from the platform wherever they are. Smárason claims to have between 500,000 and 600,000 genomes on the platform, and the company is targeting 2 million by 2020.
Today’s funding brings WuXi NextCode’s total raised to about $285 million. The company raised $75 million in May and extended its Series B round to include an additional $165 million. Temasek, Yunfeng Capital, and 3W Partners also participated in the initial Series B round, alongside Amgen Ventures.
The fresh injection of cash will be used to further develop the product, bring more data to the platform through the development of APIs and developer kits, grow the consumer base in China, and continue to advance the AI technology.
WuXi NextCode currently has approximately 350 employees worldwide.