Molecular diagnostics company Biocartis Group and biotech firm Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech (Wondfo) have formed a joint venture (JV) to commercialize the fully automated molecular diagnostics (MDx) Idylla platform in China.


Image: Idylla with three instruments. Photo: Courtesy of Biocartis.

Biocartis and Wondfo will each own 50% stake in the JV. The two companies will also provide a total of €14m of equity funding.

The JV will acquire a license to the Idylla platform from Biocartis.

Biocartis’s Idylla is an automated, real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based molecular diagnostics system, which is designed to provide fast access to highly reliable clinical molecular diagnostic information, anywhere and anytime for physicians.

The platform detects and quantifies multiple DNA or RNA-based biomarkers with a wide variety of patient sample types.

Biocartis is working on the development of an expanding test menu that can address key unmet clinical needs in oncology and infectious diseases.

Biocartis CEO Herman Verrelst said: “We are proud and honored to announce our strategic collaboration with Wondfo for the Chinese market. With Wondfo, we team up with a partner that has deep knowledge and experience of the Chinese diagnostics market. The current size and expected growth of this market provide significant opportunities for Idylla, whose features are an excellent fit with local market needs.

“Furthermore, we see great interest from pharma and test content partners to extend existing collaborations into China. The announcement today is as such a first important step in unlocking Idylla’s commercial potential in China that will provide a broader cancer patient population with access to personalized medicines.”

The closing of the collaboration is subject to certain customary closing conditions. The JV is anticipated to starts its operational activities towards the end of 2018.

The MDx market in China is expected to reach a total value of $1.5bn by the end of 2022, driven by an increasing cancer incidence in China, with over 4 million diagnosed cancer cases in 2015.

Because of the growing cancer incidence, the number of targeted and immuno-oncology therapies that are prescribed depending on molecular diagnostic test results is increasing, with already more than 500 immuno-oncology clinical trials that were ongoing in China in 2016.