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Qisda forms gene tech partnership

Source: Taipei Times by Chen Cheng-hui

Electronics maker Qisda Corp (佳世達) and TCI Co (大江生醫), which manufactures health food, functional beverages and skincare products, on Friday said that they would form a strategic alliance through a private placement.

Under the deal, Qisda plans to acquire 4.72 million shares in a TCI subsidiary, TCI Gene Inc (大江基因), at NT$115.5 per share, the company’s regulatory filing showed on Friday.

TCI Gene is mainly engaged in the research and manufacturing of various genetic testing, stem cell and immune cell products.

The NT$545.16 million (US$18.38 million) investment would allow Qisda to hold a 17.84 percent stake in TCI Gene, using its own capital to fund the deal, the filing said.

“To strengthen the company’s biotechnology business, Qisda has stepped into the field of precision medicine,” the company said in the filing. “Through this investment, we will complement each other’s resources, expand the biotechnology and medical care business, and provide customers with a wider range of products and services.”

Qisda manufactures computer accessories, communication devices and consumer electronics. It also provides consulting and technical services, and has cultivated a high-value-added medical business, which has been the firm’s best performer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Precision medicine is an emerging model in which precise detection prevents diseases in their early stages, and treats them with specific medicines. The practice provides treatment that most accurately minimizes adverse drug reactions and avoids wasting medical resources, it said.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the precision health industry said that the market is forecast to grow from US$68.3 billion in 2020 to US$134.4 billion in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent.

The genetic testing market, which is the basis of precision medicine, has attracted much attention, Qisda said.

The market potential for this segment is predicted to grow from US$8 billion last year to US$15.8 billion in 2030, with compound growth of 7.6 percent, it said, citing data from Precedence Research.

The application of cell therapy in precision medicine should also have high growth potential, it added.

Precision medicine is an emerging business suitable for technology firms, as it is expected to integrate new technologies such as genetic testing, immune cell therapy and artificial intelligence, Qisda chairman Peter Chen (陳其宏) said.

“We look forward to providing more accurate preventive medicine, precise diagnosis and treatment services to the public through cooperation with TCI Group (大江生醫集團),” Chen said in a statement.

TCI Group chairman Vincent Lin (林詠翔) said he expects to leverage the strength of Qisda in medical services, equipment, pharmaceutical access and big data solutions to increase TCI Gene’s products and testing services.

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