Singapore-based healthtech startup Lucence has raised US$20 million in a series A round led by global healthcare provider IHH Healthcare.
SGInnovate also participated in the round, along with existing investors such as Temasek Holdings subsidiary Heliconia Capital, Lim Kaling, and Koh Boon Hwee.
Lucence founder and CEO Min-Han Tan (left) and Senior Minister of State Koh Poh Koon during the opening of Lucence’s new headquarters and molecular diagnostics laboratory in Singapore / Photo credit: Lucence
Lucence uses liquid biopsy, a blood-based technology that’s less invasive than tissue biopsies, to help clinicians analyze a tumor and make treatment decisions. It currently focuses on the cancers most prevalent in Asia such as lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, nasopharyngeal, and liver cancers.
Lucence said the new funds will enable the company to reach more patients across Asia and North America. It also plans to embark on new prospective clinical studies to evaluate its technology for early detection of multiple cancers.
IHH said that its investment in Lucence is part of its initiative to work with startups to deploy technology that enhances patient experience, treatment, and clinical outcomes. Under the partnership, IHH patients will have access to the genomic medicine startup’s suite of cancer diagnostics and AI-driven analytics.
Lucence spun out of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research in 2016. After two years, it introduced its flagship sequencing test, which the startup claims is the only clinical sequencing blood test that detects cancer-related gene mutations and cancer-causing viruses within a single procedure.
The test, which detects clinically relevant mutations across 14 cancer types, has been used in diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment selection for over 1,000 patients in Asia to date, the company said.
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