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Fulgent Reaches Deals With Cancer Testing Companies

In attempts to secure its future once the Covid testing bonanza subsides, Temple City-based genetic testing company Fulgent Genetics Inc. announced two deals with cancer testing companies Aug. 9.

In conjunction with the company’s quarterly earnings report, Fulgent said it had acquired Alpharetta, Ga.-based molecular diagnostics and cancer testing company CSI Laboratories for an undisclosed sum.

Fulgent also announced a partnership with early cancer screening company Helio Health, a unit of Irvine-based Helio Inc., to commercialize Helio’s blood sample-based early cancer detection technology.

CSI Laboratories, which was founded in 1997, offers more than 400 unique cancer diagnostic tests using a variety of technologies, including the use of fluorescent probes and chromosome sample testing.

Fulgent’s goal in acquiring CSI Laboratories is to expand its capability to test tumor samples for malignancy and expand its molecular diagnostics offerings. Fulgent is also planning to integrate CSI Laboratories’ technologies into a new cancer testing lab in California.

“We expect CSI will serve as an anchor to Fulgent’s cancer testing capabilities, bringing their expertise and experience to a national oncologic centered client base, and expanding their broad pathology and molecular offerings by leveraging Fulgent’s leadership in next generation (genetic) sequencing,” Larry Weiss, Fulgent’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.

The partnership with Helio Inc. makes Fulgent a contender in the race to develop accurate early cancer detection tests from blood samples — a much less invasive diagnostic technology than the traditional tissue biopsy. Another local company, Santa Monica-based Quantgene Inc., is developing similar technology.

The Fulgent-Helio partnership will focus first on commercializing Helio’s technology to detect liver cancer from blood samples, which is undergoing clinical trials in the United States and China, according to the announcement.

“Helio has demonstrated that its liquid biopsy test offers significantly better accuracy relative to other test methods for early cancer detection,” Weiss said.

As for Fulgent’s earnings, the company on Aug. 9 reported second-quarter revenue of $153.6 million, a 790% increase over second quarter 2020, just before Fulgent entered the Covid testing market. Fulgent’s non-Covid testing revenue also rose nearly 300% to $25.7 million. According to website Seeking Alpha, Fulgent’s revenue fell $44 million short of analysts’ consensus estimates.

Fulgent’s net income for the quarter was $79.8 million, up from $3.3 million in second-
quarter 2020.

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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