Week In Review: Ping An Announces $1 Billion Fin-Tech/Healthcare VC Fund

Ping An Insurance Group (HK: 2318; SHA: 601318), China's largest insurer by market value, announced plans to launch a $1 billion international fund that will invest in fin-tech and healthcare startups (see story). Ping An is already a player in the fin-tech area with Lufax, China's biggest peer-to-peer lending and wealth management platform. In healthcare, the company offers Ping An Good Doctor, a mobile app, which has 140 million users and is, says Ping An, the first healthcare stop for many people in China. 

WuXi NextCODE, the contract genomics arm of the WuXi AppTec Group, closed a $75 million Series B financing from the company's existing investors and partners (see story). WuXi AppTec acquired NextCODE, which used the largely homogenous genomic profile of Iceland as a base, in early 2015 for $65 million. WuXi said the B round financing will underwrite consumer products in China. WuXi NextCODE has operations in Shanghai, Cambridge, Mass. and Reykjavik, Iceland. 

Epic Sciences of San Diego closed a $40 million Series D financing led by Hong Kong's Hermed Capital (see story). Epic is developing a portfolio of blood-based tests that predict drug response in cancer. Its most advanced product, the OncotypeDx AR-V7 Nucleus Detect test, helps physicians decide whether taxane chemotherapy or targeted therapies is the better treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Hermed intends to help Epic bring its product(s) to China. 

China's Maccura Biotechnology (SHZ: 300463) formed a joint venture with Qiagen of the Netherlands to develop and market Qiagen's (NSDQ: QGEN) GeneReader NGS system in China (see story). Maccura is a China IVD company. It will own 60% of the JV, which is named Maqgen, while Qiagen will own the rest. Qiagen claims the GeneReader NGS System is the world's first complete Sample-to-Insight reader and makes NGS available to any laboratory. The JV will focus initially on research use of the machine and broaden that to include Class III hospital networks. 

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