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20/20 GeneSystems Raises $4.5M in Series A Financing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cancer diagnostics company 20/20 GeneSystems said today that it has raised $4.5 million in a Series A equity funding round that included Ping An Ventures, the venture capital arm of China's Ping An Insurance company, and a number of angel investors affiliated with the Keiretsu Forum.

Rockville, Maryland-based 20/20 offers a validated blood test for detecting lung cancer early that the company claims is more accurate than existing blood-based cancer tests. The test measures a panel of tumor biomarkers and then applies a proprietary algorithm to combine the biomarker values to generate a unitary risk score. 20/20 will use the funds to customize its test algorithm for the Chinese market and will then market it under a software-as-a-service model to hospitals and other healthcare centers in the country.

"Ping An, as a major provider of health insurance in China, will be an extremely important strategic partner in this effort," Jonathan Cohen, 20/20's CEO, said in a statement. "We look forward to making a large impact in helping to reduce lung cancer mortality in China." He added that the company intends to offer its test more broadly across the Asian market and in the European and US markets.

As part of the financing agreement, Jiang Zhang, Ping An Ventures' director, and Chris Apfel, head of the life science committee of the Keiretsu Forum chapter in San Francisco, will join 20/20's board.

"20/20 has great technology and a management team that understands the unmet needs of the Chinese medical market," Zhang said in a statement. "We are enthusiastic about supporting innovative companies like 20/20 to benefit our 200 million customers."