Nalagenetics, a Singapore-based genetic testing solutions provider, announced Friday the closing of a $12.6 million Series A round of financing co-led by Intudo Ventures and Vulcan Capital.

The round also saw participation from strategic investors, including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) A*ccelerate Technologies Pte Ltd, and Indonesia-based Dexa International, Diagnos Laboratories among others, Nalagenetics said in a statement. Integra Partners also participated in the round.

With this round of financing, Nalagenetics plans to focus on product development for Clinical Decision Support (CDS) to enable whole genome analysis and integration with more providers and hospitals, and increase headcount with an emphasis on bioinformatics, software engineering, and genetics experts.

“We are excited to continue advocating the development of cost-effective genetic screening for personalization of prescription and screening especially for cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and cancers as the biggest killers in Southeast Asia. As the momentum for genetic testing and adoption of value-based care is increasing, we see a lot of interest from hospitals and providers that did not exist before,” said Levana Sani, co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Nalagenetics.

Nalagenetics is currently active in its core markets of Indonesia and Singapore, with plans to expand into Malaysia and other countries this year. The company has signed service agreements with over 40+ hospital and clinic partners, and is launching its services with its new lab location in Singapore. It has already developed clinical modules for pharmacogenomics, nutrigenomics, and breast cancer risk prediction, and plans to develop new modules around polygenic risk scores to address complex conditions and the largest killers in Southeast Asia, which includes cardiometabolic diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions.

“Local populations require local solutions in addressing genetics-related issues. Indonesia, and more broadly Southeast Asia, have long been underserved markets for genetics testing. With solutions custom tailored to local contexts, Nalagenetics is integrating targeted products and services into local healthcare systems to offer genetics testing services and analytics for patients that would otherwise not have access to such services. We are proud to continue supporting the Nalagenetics team as they have gained significant traction throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with their impactful solutions and expect greater adoption of genetics testing as more healthcare systems recognize the critical importance of genetics testing,” said Patrick Yip, Founding Partner at Intudo Ventures.

Founded in April 2016 out of A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore’s (GIS) Innovation Fellow program, Nalagenetics develops end-to-end genetic testing solutions, enabling disease prevention. Through its genetics software and solutions, the firm empowers healthcare professionals to implement predictive and pre-symptomatic testing for prevention geared towards chronic conditions in Asia.

Nalagenetics’ initial capabilities were based on creating affordable genotyping kits and bioinformatics solutions for genetic data interpretation. Building on the company’s research and technical expertise, it now offers comprehensive end-to-end solutions that include building, implementing, and integrating genetic information in healthcare systems.

Nalagenetics’ proprietary end-to-end software solution—CDS —is a stand-alone portal enabling lab providers to analyze sequencing and genotyping data efficiently. CDS offers multiple modules for healthcare professionals, including a pre-test module to understand which patients need genetic testing; analysis modules to process raw data from machines into readable files (CSV format); reporting modules to create reports with guideline-compliant recommendations; a dashboard module to summarize genetic testing results and inform providers and researchers; and a Post-Test Module to integrate genetic information into healthcare systems.

“We have been impressed with Nalagenetics’ early approach and ability to drive adoption by physicians and hospitals. With growing awareness of the importance of genetic testing, combined with continuing efficiencies and innovations in genetic sequencing and genotyping capabilities, the adoption of pharmacogenomics in clinical services is at an important inflection point for our markets,” said Tommy Teo, Managing Director and Head of Southeast Asia at Vulcan Capital.

Beyond software, Nalagenetics’ end-to-end services include wet-lab protocols, bioinformatics algorithms, clinical recommendations, and API connections, to empower hospitals and labs to run effective genetic testing services. Driven by its use from hospitals and the growing awareness of patients, Asia is the world’s fastest growing market for genetic testing. However, there remains significant room for growth, as currently up to 80 percent of all genetic discoveries continue to be found in primarily Caucasian populations, and only a small percentage of people in the region sequenced. Nalagenetics’ genetic testing tools and software are designed to be more accurate, actionable, and easy to use for local populations. Developing these capabilities using local and therefore ethnically diverse genetic data sets improve explanation for different medication effects, disease causes and progression in different populations.

Using this approach, Nalagenetics’ PGx Core® kit and pharmacogenomics algorithm have demonstrated impact and cost-effectiveness in Southeast Asian populations in reducing adverse drug reactions, increasing prescription efficacy and predicting risk of developing conditions through genetic testing. Additionally, as a close partner to hospitals and clinics, Nalagenetics has supported the government and private sector throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, ramping up testing for patients throughout the archipelago.

“As Singapore’s lead public sector R&D agency, A*STAR bridges the gap between R&D and industry by bringing our technologies to market via our spinoffs. I am confident that Nalagenetics will build on this successful fundraising and deliver their made-in-Singapore genetic solutions to improve health outcomes both locally and in the region. To that end, we look forward to the fruits of their collaboration with DxD Hub, to expand their genetic testing solutions and benefit the healthcare system,” said Professor Tan Sze Wee, Assistant Chief Executive (Enterprise), A*STAR.

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