Revenues at DNA collection company Genuity rise to €21m

Formerly Genomics Medicine Ireland, firm has been at centre of several controversies

Revenues more than doubled at State-backed DNA collection company Genuity Science Ireland in the year before the coronavirus pandemic, newly filed accounts show.

Formerly known as Genomics Medicine Ireland, Genuity has been at the centre of a number of controversies in recent years.

The company, whose backers include the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), reported turnover of $25.7 million (€21 million)in 2019, up from $11.6 million a year earlier.

Profit

Genuity returned to profit during 2019, rebounding from a €42.8 million pre-tax loss to a €25 million gain. However, this was largely due to a release of finance costs totalling $39.9 million related to the conversion of ordinary shares to Series A ones. Removing the impact of this led to a $14.8 million loss.

The company, which spent $16.6 million on research and development during the year, had net liabilities of $40.7 million.

Founded in 2015, Genuity is leading one of the world’s most ambitious genome research programmes to gather the DNA of one tenth of the Irish population for private research.

The company was acquired by genomics specialists WuXi Nextcode (now Genuity Science) for an undisclosed sum as part of a $400 million programme in November 2018.

The decision by ISIF to back the project with a €70 million investment as part of that programme raised eyebrows both locally and further afield, as have concerns over the running of the project by a private company.

Salaries

Genuity employed 115 people at the end of 2019, up from 69 a year earlier. Staff costs, including wages and salaries, totalled €11 million, versus €8.7 million in the prior year.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) launched a "widespread compliance and supervision" examination of Genuity and its clinical partners in 2018, following complaints about how it gathered and processed DNA data from some of the State's largest hospitals. A spokesman for the DPC said consultations with Genuity were ongoing.

No comment was available from Genuity at the time of publication.