Genetics testing startup Prenetics as we speak introduced a serious new deal for its model in Asia. The corporate is partnering with A.S. Watson Group, the private care large whose shops are ubiquitous in lots of East and Southeast Asian international locations. Meaning Watsons’ Hong Kong shops and web site would be the first retailer in Asia to promote Circle DNA, Prenetics’ new shopper DNA testing package, earlier than it launches in Watsons’ different Asian markets.
Watsons has 15,200 shops in 25 international locations throughout Asia and Europe, together with Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Ukraine and Russia, and claims to be the most important well being and sweetness retailer on the planet. Additionally primarily based in Hong Kong, Prenetics started by offering DNA checks for insurance coverage companies and well being care suppliers, earlier than branching into shopper checks by shopping for London-based startup DNAFit final 12 months. The acquisition of DNAFIt, which nonetheless sells testing companies below its personal model, additionally gave Prenetics a foothold within the U.S., the place DNAFit is partnered with Helix, one other gene testing firm.
Prenetics launched in 2009 and has raised greater than $50 million so removed from buyers together with Past Ventures and Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, who led its $40 million Sequence B in 2017.
Because it expands, Prenetics will turn out to be a extra direct competitor with corporations like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. Circle DNA’s kits differentiate by focusing totally on well being reviews as an alternative of ancestry. An important benefit a DNA check can provide, nevertheless, is accuracy, and the power of shopper DNA checks to reply sure questions reliably has been referred to as into query by geneticists. Prenetics claims its know-how, which makes use of complete exome sequencing as an alternative of genotyping, is ready to present 50 to 100 occasions extra information than competing checks.
In a press assertion, A.S. Watson Group chief working officer Malina Ngai mentioned “We’re excited to launch Circle DNA first in Watsons Hong Kong, offering a simple answer for personalised digital healthcare evaluation. Mixed with our sturdy buyer connectivity, scalable pharmacy community, skilled well being group and loyalty program, we’re dedicated to assist prospects to take additional actions to enhance their recognized well being considerations.”