GenapSys Funds Its Sequencer Amid Fight Against The Coronavirus

Sequencing technology company, GenapSys has announced it raised $75 million from Oxford Financing. This comes just months after a Series C funding round which saw the California-based firm raise $90 million.

It all comes down to the commercialization and distribution of the company's GenapSys Sequencer across the Asia Pacific region, including China which is at the center of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak. Alongside China, the company looks to distribute its sequencer - which weighs just under 10 pounds - in Korea, Singapore, and Japan.

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What makes the sequencer by GenapSys unique isn’t just the fact that it is 100 times smaller than standard machines, but also its price. Standard sequencers can cost close to $1 million; however the company hopes to sell its design for under $10,000. It is also convenient with the ability to be plugged into any standard power source.

“During an outbreak like what we’re seeing with the coronavirus, researchers and health officials need to access genetic insights as quickly as possible,” Dr. Shi Yongyong, a GenapSys customer said in the funding announcement. “By creating a sequencer this accurate and affordable, GenapSys will … enhance the medical community’s understanding of this current outbreak as well as other diseases that include cancer and beyond,” he added.

Investigators from The Jackson Laboratory presented results at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) that showed that the GenapSys sequencers were superior in detecting single-nucleotide mutations. They also found that its sequencers produced consistent and outstanding performance with a variety of biological samples.

The company also claims it’s been approached by China’s Center for Disease Control in the fight against the rapidly spreading coronavirus. GenapSys is also working with local researchers, health agencies and diagnostic developers to identify different strains and possible mutations of the virus. As of February 11, the death toll in China has exceeded 1000 people, topping SARS.

The GenapSys sequencer is available for order in the U.S. The company plans to expand internationally, with more than 25 distributorship deals signed in addition to its rollout in Asia. With its sequencer, the company hopes to manage and restrict the spread of current and future outbreaks.