PathGen Diagnostik Teknologi (PathGen), an Indonesia-based healthcare biotechnology startup, announced Friday that it has raised funding from venture capital firms East Ventures and Royal Group Indonesia.

The funding will be allocated towards several key areas, such as Research and Development, technology advancement, market expansion, and others, PathGen said in a statement.

“We are confident that this funding will propel us forward in our mission to improve lives by democratizing molecular testing solutions that suit the local context,” said Dr. Susanti, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PathGen.

PathGen was founded in 2020 by Susanti and joined by dr. Michael Rampangilei (Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer) in 2023.

The founders believe that detecting diseases early and access to more precise treatment is crucial for preventing health complications, yet not everyone has the means to do so.

Thus, PathGen is present with the vision to democratize genomics solutions in lower and middle-income countries by providing low-cost molecular diagnostics tools for cancer and other diseases in Indonesia.

It is noted that cancer remains a significant global health challenge, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 alone.

With the fact that around half of all cancer cases occur in developing and low-income nations. Despite this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted a disparity in access to comprehensive cancer treatment.

While over 90 percent of high-income countries boast such resources, less than 15 percent of low-income nations are similarly equipped.

For instance, in Indonesia, only 18 percent of healthcare facilities have access to molecular cancer testing due to prohibitive costs, testing complexities, and constrained human and laboratory capacities.

As the solution, PathGen provides accessible and reliable molecular diagnostics solutions for identifying familial risks (the risk of disease when a family member is affected), determining prognosis (forecast of the likely course of a disease), and predicting treatment responses.

The firm is currently developing a range of molecular genetic testing kits for multiple cancer types, such as colorectal, lung, cervical, and nasopharynx cancer.

To facilitate seamless testing and enhance adoption in the Indonesian market, these kits are predominantly polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based.

This approach leverages the abundance of PCR instruments in Indonesia resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By utilizing PCR technology, PathGen aims to provide comprehensive testing solutions that are both technically feasible and financially accessible within the existing infrastructure and price constraints of the Indonesian market.

PathGen is also advancing molecular diagnostics through the development of cutting-edge technologies such as Next-generation sequencing (NGS) for cancer and other diseases.

NGS has revolutionized genomics, enabling rapid and cost-effective analysis of large genomes and facilitating comprehensive disease profiling.

This approach identifies genetic variants linked to drug response and metabolism, supporting personalized medicine by optimizing drug selection and dosage for individual patients.

Additionally, PathGen is innovating with a digital pathology and AI platform to enhance diagnostic accuracy and precision.

“At East Ventures, we are confident in the potential of genomics technology to revolutionize Indonesia’s healthcare system and infrastructure, especially in unlocking the countless benefits of early disease detection and precision medicine,

“We welcome PathGen into our ecosystem and are excited to support PathGen in making this solution more accessible to the market. We strongly believe that this investment will not only fuel innovations but also strengthen our ability to scale and create positive health outcomes,” said Willson Cuaca, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at East Ventures.

It is noted that PathGen has recorded some milestones, including a strategic partnership with Indonesia’s state-owned biotechnology company, BioFarma, to manufacture and distribute its inaugural product, BioColoMelt-Dx, a molecular diagnostic kit for colorectal cancer.

In 2022, the product was launched as Indonesia’s first locally validated and produced molecular diagnostic kit.

Currently, BioColoMelt-Dx is available in major cancer hospitals in Indonesia, including Dharmais Cancer Center and Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.

“Royal Group Indonesia is delighted to support PathGen forward to achieve its ambition to promote healthcare and well-being through precision medicine by providing robust and affordable molecular diagnostics for Indonesia and beyond,

“We will bring our well-recognized corporate and business expertise to PathGen and ensure its growth as a sustainable and impactful venture. The collaboration with East Ventures will allow us to combine our strength and capabilities to continue the pursuit of breakthrough innovation in healthcare,” said Irawan Mulyadi, Shareholder, Royal Group Indonesia.

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