Dr. He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who claims to have created the first babies in the world with modified genes, has received at least 278 million yuan ($ 40 million) in Chinese and international investment funds for his two youngsters biotechnology companies.
Direct Genomics Biotechnology, a Shenzhen-based genome sequencing firm, holds a 33.2 percent stake, received 218 million yuan in Series A funding in April, according to a statement posted on its website earlier this year.
The financing was led by Shenzhen Cosun Venture Capital Investment Management, a venture capital company owned by Coship Electronics, listed in Shenzhen, and Chen Libei, one of the executives of Fortune Capital, a state-owned company.
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Shenzhen Cosun is an investment company specializing in the health care sector. In addition to Direct Genomics, the group has also invested in its development activities in K2 Oncology, a start-up based in Beijing dedicated to research on organoids derived from patients, which could make it possible to customize the treatment of certain cancers.
Among other investors, Beijing Xiyi Asset Management, which has signed only one venture capital operation – Direct Genomics – since its inception in 2016.
Direct Genomics, created in July 2012, was worth 1.5 billion yuan, was quoted in a report published on the website of the Chinese government in January, said the associate professor of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen.
In November 2016, Direct Genomics received undisclosed funding from three investors – Beijing Tengye Venture Capital, Amer International Group, and Sinotech Genomics, according to tianyancha.com, a provider of information data. Chinese company.
Amer International Group is a Shenzhen-based company specializing in metals and materials. Sinotech Genomics is a Shanghai-based start-up that offers clinical sequencing and research services.
The calls to Shenzhen Cosun, Beijing Xiyi, Beijing Tengyi and Amer International Group all went unanswered. the Morning of South China was still waiting for an answer to Sinotech Genomics' request for information by e-mail.
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In addition, Shenzhen Venomics Biotech, which it also chairs and controls, received 50 million yuan earlier this month as part of its Series A financing round, led by Amer International Group and Qianjiang Capital.
The start-up, which offers cancer screening services through genomic testing, also collected 20 million yuan from ASB Ventures (China) in the pre-A phase in 2017 and 10 million yuan from Angel investors in January 2016.
A spokesperson for ASB Ventures (China) told the To post that the controversy surrounding genetically modified babies will not affect their willingness to make future investments in Shenzhen Venomics Biotech.
"Mr. He Jiankui's personal research has no impact on the activities of Shenzhen Venomics Biotech. The investment of ASB Ventures (China) in medical innovation programs respects a clear bioethics. "
In addition to these two start-up companies, it holds shares in seven companies, including the Shenzhen Hanhai venture capital management partnership, Shenzhen Nanke biotechnology, the biotechnology company, the technology management partnership Zhuhai Hanhai Chuangmeng and the Zhuhai Nanqijundao technology partnership.
The scientist also controls 45.5% of Shenzhen Nanke Biotechnology, whose registered capital is the highest, 66.66 million yuan.