Genetic diagnostics and research company MedGenome said that it has raised $55 million in a funding round led by LeapFrog Investments, a global impact investment firm. Existing investors Sofina and Sequoia also participated in the round.

The funding will be utilised to ramp up the clinical genomic testing market by expanding access in tier-II and tier-III towns and cities across India and accelerate the company’s drug discovery programmes.

“Genomics and personalised medicine are the future of healthcare, but emerging markets remain significantly under-penetrated. As the largest player in India in applied genomics, we are well-positioned to fill this gap,” said Sam Santhosh, CEO and founder, MedGenome in a statement.

The subcontinent contributes around 20% of the world’s population, while the DNA sequences of its people make up only around 0.2% of global genetic databases, the company said.

The Indian genetic diagnostics market is expected to expand at 42% CAGR over the next five years. Globally, the market is expected to grow from $13 billion in 2019 to $28.5 billion by 2026 driven by improving penetration, affordability and increasing consumer awareness, the company added.

MedGenome says it has completed over 200,000 genomic tests to date and obtained samples from more than 550 hospitals and 6,000 clinicians across India.

Felix Olale, global co-lead for healthcare investments at LeapFrog pointed out that genomic sequencing will anchor the future of medicine. “We must include other underrepresented genomes not only because it drives access, but also because it improves the accuracy for everyone….Our investment will also drive the development of new drug discovery platforms that will have an enormous impact on cancer and cardiovascular disease,” said Olale.

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