Singapore-Based Medical Diagnostics Startup Raises USD 5 Million

Jul 2019

One BioMed, a Singapore-based medical diagnostics company, announced on 10 July that it has raised USD 5 million in a Series A round, led by Singapore-based venture capital firm, Biopath Ventures, and US-based ARCH Venture Partners. The investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government agency which helps local firms to build capabilities, innovate and internationalize, also participated in the funding round. 

One BioMed has developed two cutting-edge, digital-health, molecular diagnostics (MDx) platform technologies: a simple, but state-of-the-art, DNA/RNA extraction system & silicon photonics-based sensing. The technologies aim to enable precise, early infectious-disease detection at point-of-care (PoC). These technologies enable the simultaneous detection of a library of both bacterial and viral infections within 20 minutes in a fully automated format at costs similar to a single MDx test in a central laboratory, giving physicians the tool to diagnose precisely a panel of diseases without having to guess, based solely on symptoms.

One BioMed will use these funds to commercialize its first product, an automated sample preparation device for purification and isolation of nucleic acids from a wide variety of samples, required as a first step in many molecular biological and clinical diagnostic technologies. 

One BioMed was spun off in 2016 from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), a government body that supports R&D that is aligned to areas of competitive advantage and national needs for Singapore. Previously, One BioMed had received SGD 1.75 million (USD 1.3 million) in funding, in addition to the SGD 7.5 million (USD 5.5 million) invested in technology development. 

In November 2018, A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and One BioMed, launched a SGD 9 million joint lab with the aim of launching within the next five years, a point-of-care diagnostic kit that can test for up to 20 types of infectious diseases simultaneously in just 20 minutes. The 1,500-square-foot dedicated joint-lab facility is being used for pilot production of the automated diagnostic kit, using IME’s lab-on-a-chip technology and One BioMed’s silicon biophotonics and solid-phase nucleic acid purification platform technologies, originally developed at IME. This joint lab is One BioMed’s second with A*STAR. The first was launched in January 2017 in collaboration with A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) to develop molecular diagnostic assays for the Asian clinical infectious disease testing market. 

(Sources: Asia One; Agency for Science, Technology & Research; e27)

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