May 2, 2017 / 4:47 AM / 4 months ago

Temasek, Yunfeng lead $75 million funding into China genomics firm

A Temasek logo is seen at the annual Temasek Review in Singapore July 7, 2016.Edgar Su

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Jack Ma's private equity firm Yunfeng Capital and Singapore's Temasek have led a $75 million fund-raising round into genomics company WuXi NextCODE, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday, underlining a race for medical data in China.

WuXi NextCODE, a contract genomics organization with offices in Shanghai, Iceland and the United States, said it would use the funds to commercialize its products for China, and boost its capabilities in artificial intelligence and deep learning.

Chinese firms are increasingly looking to boost capabilities in genomics amid a drive into higher-tech medicines, where understanding and mapping DNA-related data can help develop targeted medicines and treatments.

"We are building the world's leading genomics data platform, applying genome sequencing data at a scale to improve human health and wellness around the world," Hannes Smarason, WuXi NextCODE's chief executive, said in the statement.

He added their data would support a drive to develop precision medicines, which China plans to focus on in its latest five-year plan, as well as genome-driven diagnostics.

The series B financing round also included Amgen Inc's (AMGN.O) venture capital fund Amgen Ventures and private equity firm 3W Partners, WuXi NextCODE said.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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