(Yicai Global) June 8 -- Qitan Technology, Chinese developer of nanopore-based fourth-generation DNA sequencing technology, has raised more than CNY400 million (USD62.5 million) in a Series-B funding round led by US investment firm GL Ventures and China’s CDH Investments’ venture capital arm VGC, The Paper reported today.
Qitan’s nanopore gene sequencer, which has a wide range of applications including immunotyping as well as the real-time detection of pathogens, tumor genomes and intestinal flora, is scheduled to go to market this year. Once this happens, Qitan will be the first Chinese firm and only the second in the world to commercialize fourth-generation sequencing technology.
Beijing-based Qitan’s nanopore sequencing equipment is expected to be competitively priced, costing around CNY100,000 (USD15,630) instead of the usual hundreds of thousands of dollars. And a single sequencing should cost under CNY1,000 (USD156.30). This would allow small laboratories and scientific research institutes to make great savings when handling a limited number of samples.
The global DNA sequencing market is projected to be worth USD17.6 billion this year, while the Chinese market will swell to CNY20.5 billion (USD3.2 billion), according to Shenzhen-based Forward Industry Research Institute.
At present US firm Illumina holds around 80 percent of the global DNA sequencing market, according to incomplete statistics. In the first three quarters of last year, San Diego-based Illumina sold USD276 million worth of sequencers.
The landmark Human Genome Project, which identified and mapped all the genes of the human genome and ran for 13 years, mostly used first-generation DNA sequencing technology and cost USD3 billion.
Editor: Kim Taylor