Genetic test developer Invitae received funding
SoftBank, an investment holding company from Japan, invested $1.2 billion in Invitae. The latter is engaged in the development of genetic tests. The funds will be used to develop the technology and expand its use.
The developer will be financed in the form of convertible bonds. The initial value will be about $43 per Invitae share at a 20% premium to the average price over a 5-day period. It should be noted that Invitae shares have risen 3 times during the year. Experts estimate the market value of the company at nearly $8 billion.
Until recently, Softbank focused on technology startups and invested in them through its own Vision Fund. Now, the corporation’s tactics have changed and it prefers to finance companies that have already gone public. Last year, the Japanese holding company invested $900 million in Pacific Biosciences of California, which is involved in innovative DNA sequencing technology. In addition, this developer is cooperating with Invitae; they are jointly creating a full-genome sequencing platform.
Invitae is a leader in the genetics segment. It was founded in 2010 in San Francisco and now operates in Israel, Canada, and other countries. According to the head of the company, their goal is to expand the use of the information that genetics carries in the medical field. Invitae develops a huge number of diagnostic tests, including those to detect cancer and heart disease. Its products help in reproductive health and in the diagnosis of rare ailments. In 2020, the company made testing possible at home, in a self-contained environment. Thanks to a chatbot, the user can determine if he or she needs a particular genetic test. The platform from Invitae collects important information about patients’ health conditions and sends it to the doctor, who then makes a treatment plan. In addition, the service delivers test kits to the user’s home.
Invitae offers several types of tests that you can do yourself. In this case, a set of instruments for collecting saliva material is sent by mail. And it is possible to determine not only the presence of the disease, but also the predisposition to it. Such diseases include hereditary cancer, epilepsy and others. According to the company’s research, about 15% of people are at risk of developing a serious genetic pathology, even if the person is currently in perfect health.
A separate area of Invitae is reproductive health, which includes screenings to detect genetic diseases in the fetus at the early stages of pregnancy.