Belgian molecular diagnostics company Biocartis Group has entered a joint venture (JV) agreement with Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech to commercialise the fully automated molecular diagnostics (MDx) Idylla platform in mainland China.

The JV, which will be equally owned by both companies, will acquire a license to the Idylla platform from Biocartis.

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The partners will invest a total of €14m in the JV over several tranches.

“The joint venture is currently subject to certain customary closing conditions and is expected to commence its operational activities by the end of this year.”

The proposed venture will initially focus on local manufacturing, commercialisation, and registration of the products in IdyllaMDx oncology test menu with the Chinese Regulatory Authorities (CFDA).

Biocartis chief executive officer Herman Verrelstsaid: “With Wondfo, we team up with a partner that has deep knowledge and experience of the Chinese diagnostics market.

“The current size and expected growth of this market provide significant opportunities for Idylla, whose features are an excellent fit with local market needs.

“Furthermore, we see great interest from pharma and test content partners to extend existing collaborations into China. The announcement today is as such a first important step in unlocking Idylla’s commercial potential in China that will provide a broader cancer patient population with access to personalized medicines.”

In the next phase, the JV will focus on developing new Idylla assays for the Chinese market.

The JV is currently subject to certain customary closing conditions and is expected to commence its operational activities by the end of this year.

Wondfo board chairman Jihua Wang said: “Through our collaboration with Biocartis, Wondfo will be the first to introduce the rapid, high precision MDx testing concept into the precision medicine field in China.

“Additionally, with a focus on developing companion diagnostic tests, Wondfo will be able to expand its footprint to the therapeutic area and as such, close the loop.”