- Endofotonics is a digital health organisation dedicated to using its proprietary Raman spectroscopy platform technology to improve early cancer detection
- The Series B round has been led by Singapore Medical Group executives
SINGAPORE, May 29, 2020 — Endofotonics announced earlier today that it has secured an investment of S$12 million (approx. US$ 8.5M) led by eminent 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 funds will be used to drive commercialization of its early gastric cancer detection system, SPECTRA IMDx™, in Asia Pacific and to expand the coverage of its cancer detection technology to other organs.
Endofotonics Pte Ltd is a digital health company founded in 2013 by Professor Lawrence Ho, a senior consultant gastroenterologist with the National University Hospital in Singapore and is currently led by CEO, Mr Peter Cheng, COO, Mr Chew Jing Ming and Lead Optical Specialist Dr Harsono Cahyadi.
The 12-men core team has successfully developed the SPECTRA IMDx™ system which enables real time detection of early gastric cancer during endoscopy. This is a world’s first in miniaturizing and embedding Raman spectroscopy within an optical probe which can fit through an endoscope. Coupled with proprietary artificial intelligence, SPECTRA IMDx™️ helps doctors identify early cancer lesions by analyzing molecular changes that typically occur beyond the stomach lining. Such cancer lesions may not be easily detectable visually. SPECTRA IMDx™ is a new and unique solution for timely medical intervention.
“Leveraging on Raman spectroscopy, we have developed a platform technology that can be applied to multiple organs, giving clinicians real time information to make decisions then and there. Not only can this be applied to early cancer detection, it can be further developed to identify safety margins for dissections or resections,” said Mr Peter Cheng.
Since its inception in 2013, Endofotonics has been well supported by Singapore-based funding and its first angel investor was Professor Lui Pao Chuen, NRF Adviser and former Chief Defence Scientist of the Singapore Armed Forces who continues to join in follow-up investments. Endofotonics secured its Series A funding in 2016 from ZIG Ventures and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, under the Startup SG Equity scheme. ZIG Ventures proactively worked with Professor Lawrence Ho to build Endofotonics and organized a core team of innovators and experienced industry professionals to establish its go-to-market strategy. Enterprise Singapore has been an effective conduit in helping Endofotonics gain access to global talent, facilitating global engagements with top hospitals and enterprises in Europe and China, as well as supporting the company in its incorporation of its wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai.
“In spite of the COVID-19 situation, Endofotonics has been able to secure significant funding from prominent local investors, due to their compelling proposition in advancing the early detection of gastric cancer. The investment round also validates the successful combination of cutting-edge medical and engineering research, driven by a strong team with core capabilities anchored here in Singapore. Enterprise Singapore and SEEDS Capital will continue to support Endofotonics in commercialising their device and capturing new opportunities in Asia Pacific and beyond,” said Mr Ted Tan, Chairman of SEEDS Capital and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore.
“Endofotonics’ Spectra IMDx™ is the leading Raman cancer diagnostic tool for gastric cancer wholly conceived and created in Singapore. We are pleased to be part of this exciting journey to further develop and bring to market this innovative technology to the rest of the world,” said Dr Beng Teck Liang.
“What the team has developed is the forefront in gastric and oesophageal cancer diagnosis and treatment applications. We are excited to support them in this journey,” said Mr Tony Tan.
In line with the new injection of funds, Endofotonics’ present Board comprises of Board Chairman Mr Sim Giok Lak (Chairman of ZIG Ventures), and includes Mr Peter Cheng, Mr Tony Tan, Dr Beng Teck Liang, Prof Lawrence Ho, Prof Lui Pao Chuen , Mr Jen Kwong Hwa (Ex- Managing Director of Micron Singapore), and Mr Sim Kok Hwee (CEO of ZIG Ventures).
Endofotonics also targets to launch its SPECTRA IMDx™ system in Europe and selected countries in Asia in 2021. The addressable market potential of the system is estimated to be more than US$5 billion.
Endofotonics is a digital health organisation dedicated to using its proprietary Raman spectroscopy platform technology to improve early cancer detection and hence reduce cancer burden in patients. Founded in 2013, the company is headquartered in Singapore and has a subsidiary in Shanghai, China. Endofotonics developed the SPECTRA IMDx™ system, the world’s first real-time in-vivo Raman spectroscopy platform, that improves early gastric cancer detection rate.
About Singapore Medical Group
Incorporated in 2005, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) is a public-listed organisation with a network of private specialist providers across diverse medical disciplines, and complementary diagnostic imaging and health screening services. With a vision to become Asia’s best healthcare network, SMG embarked on a rapid expansion drive in 2013 and has continued since to expand beyond Singapore and establish its presence in Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia. Within Singapore, SMG has more than 30 clinics strategically located in central Singapore and mature heartland estates. The central clinics are situated at Paragon, Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Downtown Gallery, while the heartland clinics are situated at Bedok, Bishan, Hougang, Jurong, Novena, Tiong Bahru and Toa Payoh. This hub-and-spoke model provides ease of access to our patients and is aligned with our promise to provide patient-centred care to every individual. To further elevate the patient experience, HiDoc, a telemedicine application was created in 2019 to enable virtual consultation and digital storage of the individual’s health records.