|NIC and Genetica signing to cooperate under the witness of Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong and ADB country director in Vietnam Andrew Jeffries |
The launching ceremony of Southeast Asia's largest gene sequencing centre based in the National Innovation Centre (NIC) took place yesterday (October 7) under the launching ceremony of the ADB Ventures project with the witness of Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong and ADB country director in Vietnam Andrew Jeffries.
From San Francisco, US, Genetica is the fastest-growing gene testing company in Asia with cutting-edge proprietary technologies in AI and molecular biotechnology, advised by scientists from the world’s leading universities.
In 2018, Genetica announced plans to expand to the Southeast Asian market and choose Singapore as its first destination. However, they changed plans after meeting with Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung in the US the same year.
“I was impressed by the minister since the moment he said: 'The government is creating the most favourable conditions for overseas scientists to return to Vietnam',” Cao Anh Tuan, founder of Genetica, shared.
Tuan was one of the 100 Vietnamese scientists living abroad who were invited to return home and join the Vietnam Innovation Network three years ago. The programme aims to enable the country to keep pace in the Industry 4.0 era. He was greatly touched by the welcome and support of leaders. “The reception has changed my mind and I decided to bring the Southeast Asian headquarters of Genetica to Vietnam,” said Tuan.
After three years of working in Southeast Asia with three sales offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Singapore, as well as two laboratories in Hanoi and San Francisco, Tuan sees the important role the gene expression of Asian and Vietnamese people could contribute to the country’s medical industry. “Therefore, with the support of the the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Genetica decided to cooperate with the NIC to build the leading genetic decoding centre in Southeast Asia located at the NIC,” the founder of Genetica said.
The Genetica centre at the NIC building will be designed to the standards of US-based labs, the most rigorous set of standards for genetic testing in the world. Accordingly, Vietnam will be one of very few Southeast Asian countries running CAP (College of American Pathologists) and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) standard genetic testing laboratories to reach new discoveries about genetic diseases, develop gene therapy regimens, and research new medicines based on the Asian and Vietnamese genomes, targeting healthcare, personalised medicine, and precision medicine.
Earlier, in March, Genetica mobilised $2.5 million successfully from Silicon Valley’s unicorn hunters to expand operations in Southeast Asia within just 30 days of calling for funds. One of the key reasons for the company's quick success was its technology in gene decoding for Asians.
The first phase of Genetica’s centre will be deployed in the last quarter of 2021, which will save time and 30 per cent of costs over sending samples to the lab in the US while ensuring international standards and the best service quality. The gene decoding results of Genetica are accepted all over the world, including all overseas hospitals.
Vu Quoc Huy, director of the NIC said that developing innovation and startups ecosystem, and promoting research and development activities are the MPI’s focus. The collaboration between the NIC and Genetica is expected to bring significant developments on genes in the future and contribute to developing a regional leading innovation and startups ecosystem.