Following recent major developments in the world of genetics, such as the emergence of inexpensive sequencing technologies and gene editing tools, capital has been directed with particular interest towards genomics. 2017 has already surpassed 2016 funding levels and, if this trend continues, it is likely to double last year's figures, with a slight increase in M&A totals.
We have analysed the investment situation in the genomics sector, which consists of companies specialised in sequencing activities and analysis of genetic data, such as sequencing hardware, cancer biopsies with circulating DNA, patient test kits, etc.
With $1,900M invested in 65 rounds at mid-year, funding in genomics startups in 2017 has already surpassed that of 2016. Investment has mainly gone to companies specialising in cancer diagnostics and disease detection, which have been major players in this year's rounds. GRAIL raised close to $1.000M, Guardant Health has closed a round of $360M and Freenome has captured $65M.
At this pace, this year's total financing figures could be 98% higher than 2016's total of $1,700M, while M&A deal levels will be close to last year's levels. In addition, the second quarter of 2017 stands alongside the third quarter of 2015 as the record quarter for M&A deals to date.
The US clearly leads the world in genomics investment. Indeed, more than two-thirds of M&A deals worldwide since 2013 have been led by US companies. It is followed by the UK with around 10% of the investment and China, which, although it only raises 3% of the investment, has received significant rounds. Thus, BGI-Shenzhenwhich develops non-profit genomics studies, closed a $320M round in 2014, and NovogeneThe Beijing-based company raised $75M in 2016.
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