VolitionRx Ltd is a Singapore-registered life sciences company that develops novel, early diagnostic tests for cancer and other conditions. Its patented technology is based on the identification and quantification of increased presence of specific nucleosomes that are released into the bloodstream or other bodily fluids, as a result of cell death associated with certain diseases including cancer. Although the US-listed company’s research and development (R&D) activities are based in Belgium, it seeks clinical research and trial collaboration opportunities with Singapore’s hospitals and research organizations to demonstrate the performance of its technology in the detection of cancer related diseases such as colorectal and ovarian cancers.
Ovarian cancer, which has an overall five-year survival rate of about 50%, causes subtle symptoms which are frequently absent in early stage onset. Early detection is crucial for the treatment of cancer. However, the recommended screening for ovarian cancer is annual pelvic examination for women, which is usually only palpable in advanced stages of the cancer. This results in late discovery of ovarian cancers leading to poor prognostic outcome. VolitionRx’s technology has the potential to detect the cancer at an early stage through a simple and minimally invasive blood test. Currently, the company is conducting clinical trials to support commercialization of their test kits.
When VolitionRx faced challenges in communicating the novelty and versatility of its invention – the first of its kind – to hospitals and research institutes in Singapore, it approached IPI for assistance on scientific communication and matching their technology to suitable partners. After internally assessing the science and market potential behind VolitionRx’s platform technology, IPI, through IPI’s TechMatch services, identified potential partners who are capable of carrying out application-centric research and clinical trials. One of these partners is SingHealth, which is Singapore’s largest public healthcare provider, and is part of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre.
IPI connected VolitionRx to SingHealth and diligently followed through as liaison between the Belgium-based R&D team and Singapore-based SingHealth to successfully meet the project’s goals. IPI also facilitated the collaboration exploration process between both parties, which stretched for about two years due to intricacy of matching the most appropriate principal investigator who could conduct the clinical trials in detecting early stage ovarian cancer. As a result of the relationship, VolitionRx and SingHealth’s Singapore General Hospital (SGH) concluded an agreement to commence a pilot study to establish the feasibility of VolitionRx’s proprietary NuQ® assays in detecting ovarian cancer.
Cameron Reynolds, CEO of VolitionRx, said: “IPI’s contacts in the healthcare sector in Singapore are first-rate. The team at IPI took a sophisticated approach in matching us with SingHealth, and we look forward to continuously work closely with them as we seek further partnerships in Singapore and in the region.”