First Stage Investor

Portfolio Update: 20/20 GeneSystems Rakes in Awards, Makes Key Taiwan Deal

Portfolio Update: 20/20 GeneSystems Rakes in Awards, Makes Key Taiwan Deal

We recommended 20/20 GeneSystems to you exactly two weeks before Christmas last year.

I considered it my special holiday gift to you, calling it “the best thing to happen to the cancer treatment space in years.”

As a quick reminder, let me tell you why.

Most cancers don’t have screening tests available to the general public. The handful that do are offered under insurance plans because they’re expensive.

20/20’s multicancer detection test, OneTEST, is offered to patients at an affordable price. The company is also the first to introduce a multicancer-screening blood test.

I liked the company six months ago.

I like it even more now.

Its team continues to execute on a high level. And it’s getting closer and closer to its big short-term objective: going public.

Before listing publicly, 20/20 plans on doing a Regulation A+ fundraise. If all goes well, that will be followed by a public listing “if/when the timing for such a mini-IPO seems optimal,” says the company.

20/20 filed its offering circular with the SEC in March. It has already made revisions based on the SEC’s feedback. CEO and founder Jonathan Cohen says the A+ fundraise “is on track.” 20/20 is planning to list in the U.S. and Britain (where its OneTEST is now available).

Since this upcoming fundraise is following on the heels of its last one, the company has had a compressed period to demonstrate progress.

And that is what it’s done. 20/20 has notched several achievements in the last couple of months.

The most significant one involves Taiwan, a country where Jonathan has developed several important relationships with major medical and health institutions. They continue to pay dividends…

Case in point: The company is getting access to exclusive data on more than 20,000 cancer patients treated at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan’s largest and most prestigious medical institution.

This is key. Huge data sets will make 20/20’s machine learning algorithms more accurate over time.

Another Taiwan-related benefit: Rent-free co-working space for six months. 20/20 beat out several hundred applicants for free co-working space at the prestigious Garage+ facility.

The physical space is a nice bonus. But the key benefit here is the dozens of introductions the company expects to get to prospective customers, strategic partners and investors.

Jonathan believes that Taiwan will serve as an ideal springboard to expand into China and East Asia.

20/20 picked up an award of a different sort in March.

The Keiretsu Forum Northwest region, a highly regarded angel investment network spanning the globe, voted 20/20 the third “most valued” company.

The award is yet another confirmation that 20/20 is on the right path and making significant headway.

20/20 also sold 90 OneTESTs at a Washington, D.C./Baltimore health expo this March. (It would have been 91 if I could have attended, but alas, I was out of town at the time.)

The revenue collected wasn’t important. Jonathan wanted to see if his research proved out and people would be willing to pay for the tests.

They were, he told me.

“Price was not a problem,” he said. “People who wanted the test were clearly willing to pay.”

It’s been a busy couple of months. As 20/20 makes its final preparations for its next raise, we’ll share portal, valuation and other information with you.

We recommended our members invest in DSTLD’s second A+ raise. It remains to be seen whether we do the same with 20/20. Without knowing the terms of its forthcoming raise, it’s too early to speculate.

But, like the Keiretsu Forum, we feel that 20/20 is on a good path to success. That’s all we can ask for… at least for now.

Good investing,

Andy Gordon

Co-Founder, First Stage Investor

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