INEX delivers early, precise and innovative molecular diagnostics for women’s health
- As one of Asia’s pioneering health care technology companies for women, INEX has been addressing unmet needs in women’s and foetal health through innovative molecular diagnostics
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced governments and companies worldwide to drastically change the way mandates and activities are carried out across sectors. This is likewise true in Singapore, where molecular diagnostics company INEX Innovate last year pivoted to support the city state’s fight against the pandemic by launching Covid-19 testing services. INEX acted quickly, getting a full-scale Covid-19 testing facility up and running within just four weeks.
INEX expanded its subsidiary iGene Laboratory, adding new equipment and expanding its team to optimise in-house reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing efficiency. The Covid-19 testing laboratory processes thousands of patient samples daily. Additionally, INEX launched its CORO real-time RT-PCR test kit to cater to the growing demand for testing in the region. CORO has been granted provisional authorisation for use from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority.
Responding to exigencies is nothing new to INEX. As one of Asia’s pioneering health care technology companies for women, INEX has been addressing unmet needs in women’s and foetal health through innovative molecular diagnostics. As a leader in the field of foetal cells isolation in maternal blood and one of only four experts globally that is focused on non-invasive prenatal diagnostics, INEX developed LEXI, a breakthrough prenatal diagnostic technology that will allow the analysis and identification of genetic disorders, that will be ready by 2023.
A spin-off from the National University of Singapore, INEX seeks to give women and mothers across Asia and the world access to rapid, accurate and cost-efficient diagnostic tests that change the way health care is approached.
“Since INEX was founded by practising clinicians, the environment within the company is very collaborative,” says Kane Black, chief executive. “We work with the academe, commercial partners and fellow practising clinicians, producing research and technologies of invaluable clinical utility.”
When Covid-19 struck, INEX was in the midst of clinical trials for several other innovative platform technologies. Moved by studies that show a woman’s lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is one in 78, INEX developed OvaCis, a rapid test for the intraoperative detection of ovarian cancer, and XENA, an early detection blood test also for ovarian cancer. Additionally, it is developing epiDx, a blood-based liquid biopsy for the early diagnosis of breast cancers.
INEX plans to launch the next version of OvaCis later this year. The epiDx test will be launched next year, while XENA will be available in the second half of next year.
“A big issue in women’s health across Asia is the low screening participation rates, resulting in late-stage diagnosis,” Black says. “It is not common for people to go into hospitals or laboratories to get tested. We work closely with companies to research, develop and share our know-how on non-invasive and patient-friendly tests that aim to increase screening participation rates and ultimately improve outcomes for patients.”
With a plan to launch an initial public offering this year on Nasdaq or the London Stock Exchange, INEX showcases its strong fundamentals and growth potential as it welcomes further collaborations with laboratory, financial, research and distribution partners worldwide.
INEX has 48 key patents, 12 trademarks and a wholly owned clinical laboratory, iGene Laboratory, which is accredited by the College of American Pathologists for next-generation sequencing and molecular microbiology including Covid-19 testing services. With expansion plans also under way in the United States, Britain and Europe, INEX may well be one of the more significant unicorns to emanate from Singapore anew.
“Our technology is cutting-edge and the service we provide is superior, and infectious disease testing capabilities such as INEX’s Covid-19 test services are recognised as an important part of the world’s health care infrastructure now more than ever,” Black says. “With a talented, entrepreneurial and dedicated team, we are on track to becoming Asia’s leading molecular diagnostic developer.”