LeapFrog leads $US55m investment into MedGenome

  • MedGenome is the largest provider of genomic solutions for populations in South Asia and emerging markets.
  • The investment will expand access and affordability of genetic testing services across India.
  • Globally, the investment will drive creation of more diverse datasets and enable discovery of novel drug targets.

Bangalore, India, April 1, 2020: MedGenome, the leading genetic diagnostics, research and data company focused on expanding access for populations in South Asia and other emerging markets today announced an investment of $US55 million led by LeapFrog Investments, a leading specialist investor in emerging markets. Existing investors Sofina and Sequoia also participated in the round.

MedGenome chief executive officer and founder Sam Santhosh said: “genomics and personalized medicine are the future of healthcare, but emerging markets remain significantly under-penetrated. As the largest player in India in applied genomics, we are well-positioned to fill this gap”.

The subcontinent contributes around 20 per cent of the world’s population, while the DNA sequences of its people make up only around 0.2 per cent of global genetic databases.

MedGenome has already built the largest database of South Asian genetic variants through its leadership in genetic diagnostics in India, research partnerships and work as a co-founding member with GenomeAsia 100K. MedGenome has completed more than 200,000 genomic tests to date and obtains samples from more than 550 hospitals and 6000 clinicians across India. This investment will expand the clinical genomic testing market by expanding access in Tier-II and Tier-III towns and cities across India and accelerate the company’s drug-discovery programs.

“Genetics is having a transformational impact on families through early disease risk detection, inherited disease prevention, healthcare personalization, and new therapy development. MedGenome strives to deliver these benefits to India and emerging markets, where the burden of many inherited and complex diseases is even higher than in Western markets. We are excited about partnering with the LeapFrog team, who share our focus on profit with purpose, and look forward to leveraging their network and expertise to accelerate achievement of our goals,” said Mr Santhosh.

The MedGenome transaction was led by Dr Felix Olale, global co-lead for healthcare investments at LeapFrog.

“We are very excited to partner with MedGenome to increase access to affordable and high-quality genetic testing for emerging consumers in Asia and Africa. Genomic sequencing will anchor the future of medicine and we must include other underrepresented genomes not only because it drives access, but also because it improves the accuracy for everyone. As the leading player in its field, we believe that our investment will enable MedGenome to rapidly consolidate its position in Asia and become a significant player in the global market for drug discovery and precision medicine. Our investment will also drive the development of new drug-discovery platforms that will have an enormous impact on cancer and cardiovascular disease,” said Dr Olale.

This investment is in line with LeapFrog’s consumer health approach and will be a key addition to the portfolio in terms of returns and impact. Furthermore, it is a strong fit for LeapFrog’s impact mandate via increasing the availability of essential diagnostics in emerging markets and creation of new drug targets for intractable diseases globally.

MedGenome’s latest research findings about Asian populations, in partnership with GenomeAsia 100K, was published as a cover article in the December 5, 2019 issue of science journal Nature. The paper is now a strong reference base and discussion point for scientists working globally on genomics. The increased diversity captured in MedGenome’s genetic datasets will drive discovery of new gene-disease associations, drug targets, and novel therapies.

The investment in MedGenome will seek to capitalise on the favourable dynamics in both the domestic and international markets for genetic diagnostics. The Indian genetic diagnostics market is expected to expand at 42 per cent CAGR over the next five years. Globally, the market is expected to grow from $US13 billion in 2019 to $US28.5 billion by 2026 driven by improving penetration, affordability and increasing consumer awareness.

This press release was first published on April 1st, 2020

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