Mekong Enterprise Fund IV made a Series B investment in Gene Solutions to support its expansion plan in Southeast Asia
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (20 September 2023) – Mekong Capital announced that the Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV) has completed 21 million USD Series B investment in Gene Solutions, a rapidly growing biotechnology firm. The latest investment, which follows MEF IV’s initial investment in 2021, supports Gene Solutions’ expansion plan in Southeast Asia, especially for providing early detection tests of multiple forms of cancer.
Gene Solutions specializes in detecting the presence of certain diseases based on DNA markers of those diseases.
Their success was initially built on prenatal tests such as helping expecting parents to screen for disorders during their pregnancy or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. They are currently the market leader for Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) in Vietnam.
In 2022, Gene Solution validated a liquid biopsy technology called SPOT-MASTM that can detect circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the bloodstream as signals for multiple common types of cancers in the early stages, typically before they are easily detectable by traditional methods. The accessibility of a multi-cancer early detection test in the region has been well adopted by private hospitals and wellness centers in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok. They also expect to open its oncology laboratory in Tai Seng Exchange, Singapore by November this year to fulfill growing cancer testing needs in the region.
The key to Gene Solution’s successful expansion is in its lower cost structure than its competitors, and its efforts to continuously lower the cost per test, making such tests more affordable for a wider range of end-users throughout Southeast Asia. Gene Solutions achieves this in part by running its own labs with a strong in-house research and development team.
Nearly 1,000,000 genetic tests have been provided by Gene Solutions, making genetic testing available to more people in South-East Asia countries where its services operated.
Chris Freund, Founder and Partner at Mekong Capital, shared:
This second round of investment by Mekong Enterprise Fund IV into Gene Solutions will be used to fund their ongoing expansion throughout Southeast Asia. We have great confidence in Dr. Nghia, the co-founders and the excellent team that Gene Solutions has assembled. Our initial investment in Gene Solutions has been performing very well over the last 2 years, and of course we expect this will continue as Gene Solutions emerges as model of a successful and sustainable biotechnology company in Southeast Asia.
About Gene Solutions
10 years of researching Cancer Biology and Genetics in the U.S. was eye-opening for Dr. Nguyen Hoai Nghia when he discovered the benefits and applications of genetic testing. With the intention to make genetic testing affordable and accessible to millions of Vietnamese, thus transforming their health, he returned to Vietnam to start his entrepreneurial journey.
In 2017, Dr. Nghia together co-founded Gene Solutions with Dr. Nguyen Huu Nguyen (Deputy CEO), and Dr. Giang Hoa (R&D) with background and solid experience in genetics, cancer biology, clinical medicine, and biotechnology.
Three years later, the company emerged to account for an 80% market share of NIPT in Vietnam, leading in cell-free DNA techniques for pregnant women at an affordable price. After such a strong presence in Vietnam, 2023 was the key milestone when Gene Solutions established its footprints in the region. The company expanded to Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia markets to offer the latest genetic testing services to local healthcare providers.
More importantly, this year Gene Solutions has published its largest clinical trials with nearly 3,000 multi-cancer early detection tests via ctDNA screening technology SPOT-MASTM and delivered 7,000 free tests to the community. With a large sample size and a scientifically proven methodology, the study increases confidence in the accuracy of the SPOT-MASTM technology and earns endorsement by the esteemed journal eLife Science or American Socitey of Clinical Oncology (2023 ASCO Breakthrough).
About Mekong Capital & Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV)
Established in 2001, Mekong Capital has the most extensive private equity track record in Vietnam. Some of their well-known investments are Mobile World, Phu Nhuan Jewelry (PNJ), ICP, Golden Gate, Vietnam Australia International School (VAS), Masan Consumer, Traphaco, and F88.
Mekong Capital’s fifth fund, MEF IV, is a private equity fund with a fund size of $246 million that will continue Mekong Capital’s successful strategy of investing in growth-equity investments in Vietnamese companies and exclusively in proven consumer-driven sectors that benefit from the growth in Vietnamese consumer demand and the adoption of modern business practices. The Fund will focus particularly on retail, education, restaurants, consumer services, FMCG, and health care including Entobel, Marou, Mutosi, HSV Group, LiveSpo Global, Rever, and Gene Solutions.
Mekong Enterprise Fund IV applies Mekong Capital’s Ontological Private Equity approach and the Vision Driven Investing framework with the intention to fulfill its commitment for each investee company to achieve its vision.