Prenetics Global Limited (Prenetics), a Hong Kong-based genomics-driven health sciences company, has partnered scientist Prof. Dennis Lo to establish a joint venture named Insighta for breakthrough multi-cancer early detection screening.

Prenetics said in a statement on Sunday that they have entered into an agreement for the partnership.

Under the agreement, Prenetics will receive a 50 percent equity stake, while Prof. Lo’s party will also receive a 50 percent equity stake.

The joint venture will be governed by a six-person board of directors composed of three directors from each side, with Prof. Lo as the Chairman and Danny Yeung as the Chief Executive Officer.

The $200 million transaction makes it the largest private life sciences deal in Hong Kong history and one of the largest in the region.

Prenetics will provide consideration of $100 million to Insighta, with $80 million in cash and $20 million in Prenetics stock.

The significant outlay by Prenetics demonstrates a shared belief in Insighta’s potential and will be directly utilized to fast-track clinical trials and commercialization of the breakthrough early cancer detection technology.

“With Insighta, we are presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity. The potential of our Presight test is immense, potentially influencing the health of 1 billion individuals in Asia,” said Yeung.

According to him, Insighta primary focus for the initial launch will be in China, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.

On a global scale, he said the joint venture intends to forge alliances with healthcare institutions and forward-thinking governments that align with their vision – a commitment to save lives through the power of early cancer detection.

“Given the scale of our mission to combat cancer, we are enthusiastically open to collaborations with researchers and partners worldwide,” he said.

He also said that the firm is mindful that cost is a vital determinant in the viability of any breakthrough science and Presight has been engineered with cost as a critical factor.

With a target price of less than $200 per test, he said Insighta exemplifies its commitment to advancing science for the betterment of global health.

“Our objective is to transform early cancer detection from a luxury to a universally accessible necessity,” he added.

Lo, renowned for his ground-breaking work in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and in liquid biopsy, has been bestowed with some of the highest distinctions in life sciences.

As the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he consistently demonstrates outstanding academic leadership.

“FRAGMA”, a new breakthrough technology which Lo published in 2022, will be the technology utilized for multi-cancer early detection screening for Insighta.

According to Lo, the joint venture not only ensures robust capital resources, strong management but also a mutual vision of global health transformation.

“We are driven by the profound potential to save countless lives, and together, we will make a significant stride towards a healthier future for all,” he said.

Lo also said that Insighta is dedicated to introducing a breakthrough technology, “FRAGMA”.

According to him, the science behind Presight holds immense potential for multi-cancer early detection.

“Epigenetics studies the modifications of DNA that affect its behaviour without changing the DNA sequence,

“Fragmentation patterns of plasma DNA can be used as an epigenetics-based cancer test with high accuracy and a simple workflow,” he said.

According to him, another key distinguishing hallmark of Presight is its cost-effectiveness.

“This innovation doesn’t merely represent a significant leap in cancer detection — it has the potential to transform millions of lives and change the trajectory of cancer prognosis, offering hope where it was once scarce,” he said.

According to the statement, Insighta’s first breakthrough test, Presight, is set to begin a multi-country 5000-patient clinical trial in early 2024.

The initial Presight tests will be focused on liver and lung cancer with it first being made commercially available in China and Hong Kong in 2025.

In 2027, Insighta also plans to launch Presight One, a multi-cancer early detection test capable of detecting more than 10+ different cancers.

It is noted that by the year 2030, the demand for early detection cancer screenings could potentially translate into 30 million tests in Asia, annually.

This indicates not only a promising advance in healthcare but also a substantial market opportunity, which Prenetics estimates at $6 billion.

Insighta’s focus underscores the joint venture mission of saving lives through early cancer detection, and they see this forecast as a testament to the game-changing impact of our cutting-edge technology.

“This represents a transformative milestone for Prenetics, enabling us to enhance life’s quality through cutting-edge scientific innovations,

“From prevention (CircleDNA) and early detection (Insighta) to treatment (ACT), our innovative approach promises to significantly raise the bar in healthcare,” Yeung concluded.

US-listed Prenetics acquires Asia-based genomics company ACT Genomics