Genomic and diagnostic testing company Prenetics Group has agreed to combine with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Artisan Acquisition in a deal worth $1.25bn, to go public.

The transaction is said to have up to combined equity value of $1.7bn.

Under the deal, Prenetics will receive around $459m in cash, including $339m of cash currently held in Artisan’s trust account, fully committed PIPE and forward purchase agreements of $120m from Aspex, PAG, Lippo, Dragonstone, Xen Capital and others.

Established in 2014, Prenetics offers Covid-19 testing, rapid point of care and at-home diagnostic testing and medical genetic testing services.

The company also focuses on delivering consumer genetic testing and early colorectal cancer screening services.

Prenetics CEO and co-founder Danny Yeung said: “This announcement is a significant milestone for Prenetics and for Hong Kong entrepreneurs. Our goal is to decentralise healthcare by bringing it closer to millions of patients globally.”

Recently, Prenetics has introduced a CE-IVD point-of-care diagnostics and at-home rapid detection health monitoring system, dubbed Circle HealthPod, in Hong Kong. It is designed for testing infectious diseases.

The system, which is started with Covid-19 testing, is under research and development (R&D) on tests for influenza and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Developed at the University of Oxford, the Circle HealthPod technology delivers laboratory PCR-quality results within 20 minutes on the device or on a smartphone.

Prenetics is also planning to secure emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Circle HealthPod by the first quarter of 2022.

Prenetics also offers CircleDNA  consumer DNA test with whole exome sequencing technology, as well as Project Screen One-stop laboratory PCR testing solution for Covid-19 testing that offers testing services to up to 3,000 players and staff of the English Premier League on a regular basis.

Artisan founder Adrian Cheng said: “It was our core mission to seek out a high impact and high growth global company, and I am very pleased that we have found it with Prenetics. Danny has built a superb business with an inspirational team at all levels.”

UBS Securities is serving as sole financial advisor and exclusive capital markets advisor to Artisan in connection with the transaction, while Citigroup Global Markets Asia is acting as sole financial advisor to Prenetics.

The transaction is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.