Recently, lezhun smart chip announced that it had completed a round of financing. This round of financing was led by sanze venture capital, followed by Yichun capital and its old shareholders. The funds will be used to build automatic chip production lines, develop”one card with multiple checks” biochips and detection instruments, and expand the market.
Lezhun smart chip is a representative biochip enterprise in the field of in vitro diagnosis. It is committed to using biochips to achieve multiple accurate detection of proteins and nucleic acids. The founding team has rich industry experience and has accumulated in the industry for more than 20 years, breaking through the bottleneck of biochip accuracy, mass production and cost control, and has developed a”one card multi detection” chemiluminescence biochip.
At present, lezhun smart core has completed several rounds of financing. Wu Pengcheng, the founder of the company, said,”during the pre-A round of financing, we broke through the problems of batch production and cost control of biochips, achieved whole blood chemiluminescence, and obtained the investment of sannuo biology and Shenzhen ruixiangyuan. This time, we took the lead in realizing chemiluminescence ‘one card multiple tests’ in the world, and significantly reduced the cost of reagents.”
01. Break through the process bottleneck,
Realize chemiluminescence”one card with multiple checks”
More accurate, more efficient and lower cost has always been the main theme of the development of in vitro diagnosis. In particular, after the implementation of Anhui chemiluminescence centralized purchase policy in 2021, the average price decline of products involved is about 50%. Under the centralized purchase policy, the field of in vitro diagnosis is facing a continuous demand for cost reduction.”More detectable items and cheaper prices are the long-term trend.” Wu Pengcheng summarized.
Biochip highly meets the strong demand for accuracy, simplicity and speed in the field of in vitro diagnosis. Biochip can carry out more complex biological, chemical, physical and other experiments on a chip the size of a stamp, which provides technical support for medical instruments with low production cost, few samples, short time and simple operation, and can make up for the pain points of traditional detection technology, such as complex sample pretreatment, long detection process, and inability to give consideration to accuracy and speed.
Wu Pengcheng said,”at present, the inspection department is full of large instruments, and a set of assembly line costs tens of millions. With the widespread application of biochips, only a few small instruments can meet the testing needs of various projects in the laboratory.”
However, the concept of biochip has been rising for a long time, but it has not been widely used in the field of in vitro diagnosis. Wu Pengcheng said,”the main reason lies in the high-tech barriers of biochips. The basic research of biochips in China is weak, and the research and development of biochips is very complex, involving physics, microelectronics, materials, chemistry, biology, medicine and other disciplines. If we can’t make a significant breakthrough in technology, the cost of manufactured chips is high and the accuracy is insufficient. High-precision biochips are still scarce resources in the market.”
Lezhun smart chip has established a professional team of more than 50 people, which can independently complete the development of raw materials, chip molding, and chip supporting instruments and reagents. Cost control and large-scale production are the two major difficulties in the process of biochip industrialization. Lezhun smart chip has overcome the key technical problems such as micro blood filtration, precise sampling and precise sampling in multiple reaction chambers from the perspective of chip basic technology research, We have successfully achieved mass production of biochips.
Lezhun smart chip can not only integrate the detection process into one chip, but also realize”multiple detection of one card”, and can do six chemiluminescence whole process projects on one chip at the same time. Based on the chemiluminescence biochip of”one card with multiple tests”, the company will develop a large chemiluminescence instrument that can detect 720 tests in one hour and a small chemiluminescence instrument that can detect 90 tests in one hour. The volume of the instrument will be significantly reduced, the detection speed will be faster, the cost will be lower, and the detection accuracy can be comparable with imported products.
At present, lezhun smart chip’s”one card one check” biochip chemiluminescence detection system has been implemented in many hospitals.”One card with multiple tests” chemiluminescence instruments and reagents will be registered and tested in 2022. In the field of nucleic acid detection, the nucleic acid detection biochip developed by the company can complete the whole steps of sample extraction and amplification on one chip, and can detect 48 sites at a time. Registration inspection will be carried out in 2023 to realize the joint detection of multiple sites and replace some ngs detection, which will effectively reduce the price of PCR detection. At the same time, PCR detection will be extremely simple and no longer rely on professional operators.
According to frost Sullivan, China’s in vitro diagnostics market will reach 195.7 billion yuan in 2024, with a compound growth rate of about 17.8%from 2019 to 2024, continuing to maintain a rapid growth trend. However, Wu Pengcheng pointed out,”over the past few decades, in vitro diagnosis technology has not been revolutionized. With the mature application of biochips in many detection fields, biochips are expected to become a sharp tool for China to overtake in the global competition of in vitro diagnosis.”
02. Investor’s view
Xia Jiazhi, a partner of sanze venture capital, said that microfluidic chips can be used in various analytical fields, such as biomedicine, synthesis and screening of new drugs, as well as other important application fields such as food and commodity inspection, aerospace science, among which bioanalytical medical testing is a hot spot. Sanze has paid attention to the domestic IVD field for many years. Few companies in the industry can really achieve the detection quality, cost and efficiency of large-scale automatic chemiluminescence detection equipment through microfluidic technology, and realize large-scale industrialization of biochips at the same time. Through years of research and development of biochips, the company adopts whole blood detection, omits the sample pretreatment process, optimizes the detection process, reduces the reagent demand and reduces the detection cost through the microchannel design, fully controls the layout of the company’s entire industrial chain, and greatly reduces the chip manufacturing cost. All these solve the bottleneck of the current traditional microfluidic technology chemiluminescence products entering the market.
The next generation of multi joint inspection chip products laid out by the company will be a new direction leading the chemiluminescence microfluidic detection. President Wu, the founder, has a deep accumulation and broad vision in the field of chemiluminescence and molecular microfluidic. We expect lezhun to continue to achieve success in the field of chemiluminescence detection and molecular microfluidic, provide better chemiluminescence detection products for patients and the market, and finally become a benchmark enterprise in the field of IVD in China.
Zhaojianghua, managing director of Yicun capital, said that Yicun capital has long been concerned about new technologies, breakthroughs and trends in the field of medical and health care. In vitro diagnosis is the largest medical device segment market at present, and the market scale shows a trend of rapid growth. At the same time, we believe that microfluidic technology will bring changes to the in vitro diagnosis industry with faster speed, more convenient operation and more accurate detection results.
Lezhun’s attempt in this regard has shown exciting phased results. Its solution skillfully combines microfluidic technology with chemiluminescence. Not only does the product have excellent performance, but also the cost is low. What’s more valuable is that the test results show a stability comparable to that of imported brands. Not only that, we pay more attention to the underlying technology owned by Le Zhun, which will continue to provide new momentum for the company to move forward in the in vitro diagnosis track. We expect Le Zhun to continue to explore and make new breakthroughs in multiple detection and other aspects with the efforts of the founding team and all employees.