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A Regulatory Move

China is halting the use of certain genetic tests, Forbes' Shu-Ching Jean Chen reports. In what Chen calls a vaguely worded announcement, the China Food and Drug Administration says certain technologies, including prenatal genetic testing, will be subject to governmental regulation.

In China, prenatal genetic testing market is estimated to be as large as 50 billion yuan (US$8 billion) a year, though, Chen adds, an estimate based on how much has been spent on the tests since they became available would place the market size closer to 480 million yuan ($77 million).

Chen adds that, under this directive, clinical gene sequencing can only take place at certain pilot locations approved by the National Health and Planning Commission and that all related devices also have to be approved by the government.

This, she notes, could affect BGI and its competitors as they offer genetic tests as well as Illumina and others that make gene-sequencing platforms.