NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – MGI, the instrument division of Chinese genomics giant BGI Group, said today that it has raised more than $200 million in an initial financing round.
Investors in the round included CITIC Goldstone Capital, Green Pine Capital Partners, Orient Securities Capital Investment, Jinshi Capital, Songhe Capital, and Dongzheng Capital.
MGI, based in Shenzhen, said the completion of the financing round "shows the recognition of [the company's] research and development capabilities and internationalization." The firm plans to further strengthen its R&D and the production of new sequencing instruments, develop a comprehensive line of products, and further develop the market and sequencing industry.
MGI said the global sequencing market is predicted to grow to $12.45 billion in 2022, with $2.39 billion coming from the Asia-Pacific region. By 2020, China's sequencing market alone is expected to reach RMB 9.8 billion ($1.43 billion).
The company said it has invested about RMB 5 billion ($730 million) in R&D so far to build a patent portfolio around sequencing technology and has filed for more than 580 technical patents, including more than 80 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patents. BGI also acquired IP for its sequencing technology through the acquisition of US firm Complete Genomics in 2013.
MGI said it has so far installed 1,100 of its sequencers in 16 countries and has more than 300 users. Last month, it released a new sequencing instrument, developed in collaboration with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, for sequencing Chinese herbal DNA barcodes for sample identification purposes.
Earlier this year, MGI said it planned to start selling its sequencing instrumentation in North America and Europe by the end of this year. Shortly afterwards, Illumina sued MGI's Latvia operations in a German court for alleged patent infringement.