Testing company Fulgent Genetics files for IPO
- California company Fulgent Genetics has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.
- The company is planning to list on the NASDAQ as FLGT. The proposed price for the shares hasn’t yet been set, and the use of proceeds hasn’t been declared.
- Founded in 2011, Fulgent focuses on genetic tests for hospitals and medical institutions. Its approach is to create low-cost tests from a broad and flexible test menu that incorporates thousands more genes than its competitors, so can be tailored to individual patient needs. Each test carried out adds to and improves the genetic databases.
Genetic tests have a broad spectrum of uses. They can tell us about our potential health in the future, diagnose monogenetic disorders, help counsel parents-to-be about the risk to unborn children, classify disease such as cancer and select the best targeted drugs for our particularly genetic profile.
Fulgent’s genetic testing technology is based on next-generation sequencing (NGS). The global NGS market is currently worth around $4 billion, rising to around $10.5 billion by 2022—about $3.6 billion would come fro the U.S.
While the use of genetic testing looks like it will continue to increase in the future, limits to its use are likely to include high cost and issues with reimbursement, lack of availability of tests, time required to get results and challenges in interpretation of the data.
Fulgent aims to target this through low cost and flexibility, but will be fighting against some well-known and well-established names such as Illumina, Roche, Life Technologies and Pacific Biosciences, as well as newer entrants such as Agilent Technologies.
Fulgent's tests would be used by doctors to help with patient diagnosis. DNA testing is becoming increasingly more common as cancer companies target specific genetic mutations with their drugs. Biomarker diagnostics have not yet become routine, but help determine the proper patient population for certain therapeutics. Cancer drug makers are increasingly relying on the tests to find the appropriate patient population for clinical trials and to improve outcomes for patients.
Fulgent Therapeutics was started as a biopharma company in 2011 and started the genetic testing business in 2013. It has since split off from the drug development business to focus solely on test development.
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