Burning Rock, a Chinese developer of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based diagnostics solutions for precision medicine in oncology, said today it has completed an RMB 850 million (approximately $126 million) Series C financing.
Proceeds from the latest financing will be used primarily toward development of early cancer detection products, as well as expansion of Burning Rock's sales and marketing force for its companion diagnostics business, the company said.
Burning Rock has committed itself to maintaining leadership in China’s cancer genetic testing industry, building a world-leading brand in tumor precision medicine testing, and enabling more people to benefit from genetic testing.
Last year, a lab jointly operated by Burning Rock and Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group (CTONG) was one of the first laboratories to pass the technical review required to obtain the designation of “NGS laboratory” by China’s National Center for Clinical Laboratories. As a result, the lab became the only clinical laboratory to have obtained official recognition from China's NGS laboratory authority, as well as the CLIA and CAP designations in the U.S.
Also, Burning Rock obtained the first cancer NGS reagent kit approval issued by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).
Established in March 2014, Burning Rock has developed 32 products for different cancer types and clinical applications, including a gene panel for lung cancer target drugs, a gene detection panel for benign or malign judgment of thyroid cancer, a gene detection panel for liquid biopsy of lung cancer, and a genetic susceptibility gene detection panel for multiple types of cancer.
Burning Rock has also launched strategic collaborations with Western partners that include Agilent, Illumina, PerkinElmer, Qiagen, and numerous biopharma companies. The company operates in three core business areas: cancer patient companion diagnostics, early cancer detection, and cancer genome big data ecosystem.
Burning Rock is headquartered in Beijing with a research institute at Guangzhou International Biotech Island, and an R&D center occupying more than 10,000 square meters (107,639 square feet) in Shanghai.
Han Yusheng, founder and CEO of Burning Rock, noted in a statement that the company developed early detection technology more than two years ago, a DNA methylation assay based on an NGS platform. Burning Rock has also established a genome big data ecosystem designed to connect doctors and biopharmas—an ecosystem that he said will likely connect with patients in the future.
“The new financing provides a financial guarantee for Burning Rock's rapid expansion in the above three areas,” Han said. “We appreciate the recognition from our investors.”
The financing was led by GIC, the global investment firm established in 1981 to manage Singapore's foreign reserves—followed by LYFE Capital, CMB International Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), Sequoia Capital China and T&Brothers Capital.
LAV originated in 2008 as a corporate venture subsidiary of Eli Lilly, but later spun off and became an independent investment management company with more than $1.2 billion of committed capital under management.
Sequoia Capital, LYFE Capital, CMB International Capital joined Legend Star in 2016 to raise RMB 300 million ($xx million) in Series XX capital in 2016.