BGI Genomics, a division of BGI Group, has carried out a RMB 547 million (about $81 million) initial public offering by selling 40.1 million shares at a list price of RMB 13.64 ($2.02) per share on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s ChiNext board.

Shares began trading Friday under the code 300676 and quickly rose in open market trading, rising 32% before a temporary halt, then rising further to RMB 19.64 ($2.90) per share—a 44% increase that reached the limit for a first-day increase over IPO price. As a result of the increase, BGI’s first-day valuation rose to $1.15 billion from the initial $802 million.

That valuation rose further today, with shares closing at RMB 21.60 ($3.19), according to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s website.

“The capital raised will allow us to invest in the development of new services, top talent, and lab infrastructure to benefit our global customers and to support our continued growth and innovation,” Yin Ye, CEO of BGI Genomics, said in a statement.

BGI Genomics provides commercial next-generation sequencing services and a broad portfolio of genetic tests for medical institutions, research institutions, and other public and private partners—with emphases on prenatal screening, hereditary cancer screening, testing for rare disease, and aiding precision medicine research.

According to its website, BGI Genomics’ key sequencing services and genetic tests include whole human genome resequencing; transcriptome sequencing; plant, animal, and microbe de novo sequencing; RNA quantification; drug discovery; and metagenomics.

The company aims to provide high-quality, affordable genomics-powered health solutions that are widely available, with the twin goals of advancing life science research and improving human health. Last year, with Chinese government support, BGI opened the China National GeneBank in Shenzhen, as a repository for genetic information from humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms.

“Trans-omics for a Better Life.”

Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, BGI Genomics has branches and medical laboratories in many of China’s major cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Wuhan, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The company currently operates in more than 100 countries and regions worldwide—including sites in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region—and works with more than 3000 medical institutions and more than 300 hospitals.

In the U.S., BGI Genomics has offices and labs in Cambridge, MA, San Jose, CA, and Seattle. The company’s key North American hub in Cambridge oversees main services that include exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and next-generation sequencing laboratory support services.

Last year, BGI Genomics generated net income of about RMB 350 million ($51.7 million) on revenue of about RMB 1.7 billion ($251 million), of which 54% or RMB 929 million ($137 million) came from reproductive health-related genetic testing services.

BGI Genomics won approval for the IPO in May from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), two months after updating the IPO prospectus it initially filed with the commission in December 2015.

BGI Genomics marked the successful launch of the IPO by inviting a group of patients and caregivers to ring the opening bell. The company said the event marked a major step for BGI Genomics toward realizing its vision of “Trans-omics for a better life.”

“In the genomics field, we aim to dominate the market, creating a bright future for all by bringing both social and economic benefits,” BGI Genomics' president Wang Jian said in his opening statement at the IPO ceremony. “Benefitting from our innovations in scientific research, the industry will become more active; by serving people's lives as the starting point, the industry will also become more competitive and scalable.”

Wang, who co-founded BGI Group in 1999, has promised not to sell any of his holdings in the next five years, but will instead remain invested over the long term to drive the goal of reducing gene-related disabilities in China.

ChiNext is China’s NASDAQ-style tech-focused growth enterprises stock board, and according to its website “helps accelerate the transformation of economic development mode and galvanizes growth in emerging industries of strategic importance.”

Biotechnology is one of seven “strategic industries” targeted for growth in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan as well as the “Made in China 2025” initiative designed to promote more higher-value-added, intelligent manufacturing.

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