Korean Rare Disease Diagnostics Firm 3billion Looks to 2022 IPO, Expansion Into Drug Discovery

The Korean startup, having only been founded in October 2016, is already on track to go public in early 2022 on the KOSDAQ. The KOSDAQ and the South Korean government have prioritized and created a fast-track process for technology companies to go public for several years now. CEO Changwon Keum noted that the KOSDAQ has been a bull market since the initial COVID-19 dip and that they can go public faster than expected as a result.

3billion provides rare disease diagnostic services based on genome sequencing in over 32 countries, processing 8,000 tests in 2020 and expects to process 20,000 tests in 2021. The company, known for targeting the currently known 7,000 rare diseases, is also capable of diagnosing common genetic diseases as well. They do this with their AI-based technology, called 3Cnet, to predict the pathogenicity of variants, reducing the time and cost required for diagnosis considerably. 3Cnet is 14 percent more accurate at predicting pathogenicity of missense mutations and twice as accurate in identifying causal variants than previous methods.

CEO Keum is also looking to expand beyond diagnostics. The next goal is to use their technology in supporting drug discovery. The company is currently building an AI software platform to help pharmaceutical companies in the development of drugs and treatments of rare diseases, performing target discovery, drug candidate searches, and safety validation. The company is currently in talks with several pharma companies to set up a pilot program to prove the efficacy of its drug discovery platform.