Singaporean medtech company, Endofotonics, announced an investment of SGD 12 million (USD 8.6 million) from specialist healthcare investors Mr Tony Tan Choon Keat, Chairman of Singapore Medical Group (SMG) and Founding Managing Director of Parkway Holdings, and Dr Beng Teck Liang, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of SMG. The Series B funding will fuel the commercialization of the startup’s early gastric cancer detection system, SPECTRA IMDx™ in Asia Pacific and will enable it to expand the coverage of its cancer detection technology to other organs.
White-light endoscopy is the most common method for visually diagnosing early signs of gastric cancer in hospitals. Images of the stomach lining are displayed on the system monitor to guide the doctors on the best sites to take biopsies. The biopsies confirm the diagnosis after a few days. Conventional white light endoscopy cannot accurately differentiate normal vs cancerous tissues. Endofotonics’ technology miniaturizes and embeds Raman spectroscopy within an optical probe which can fit through an endoscope. Raman Spectral Analysis is a technique capable of capturing molecular information associated with the cellular metabolic constituents when the tissue molecules are excited by light energy directed at the tissue. With the technology, the system is able to help identify tissue with high probability of having gastric cancer.
Following this funding round, the company aims to launch its SPECTRA IMDx™ system in selected countries in Asia and also Europe throughout 2021. Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancer worldwide with over 1 million new cases in 2018. In Asia, gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality. The addressable market size of the solution is estimated to surpass USD 5 billion.
(Sources: AsiaOne, Business Times)