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MEDIA & MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Biolidics' microfluidics technology wins at SBR Listed Companies Awards 2019

The listed company developed a fully automated CE-IVD medical device that separates and enriches cancer cells from blood.

With its fully automated and commercialised ClearCell® FX1 System, Biolidics is accelerating the development of applications that help cancer patients better understand their disease’s progression and treatment effectiveness with just a blood sample.

Biolodics Limited won in the Technology category of Singapore Business Review’s Listed Companies Awards 2019, which recognises innovative projects and best practices with significant business impact. The medical technology company has developed and commercialised ClearCell® FX1 System, a fully automated CE-IVD medical device that separates and enriches cancer cells from blood, which then enables liquid biopsies to test for the presence of cancer cells (specifically circulating tumour cells, or CTCs), in blood samples or conduct further analysis on cancer cells.

“Liquid biopsy techniques have been observed to facilitate personalised medicine and targeted therapies,” said Ivan Lew, executive director and CEO of Biolidics. “Of these techniques, the analysis of CTCs, as employed in Biolidics’ ClearCell® FX1 System, has been noted to be the most highly developed technique.”

Lew explained that the presence of CTCs is prerequisite to metastasis and their enumeration opens the doors to numerous applications that can be helpful as a patient goes through their cancer journey, from cancer screening and staging to personalised treatment, and post-cancer monitoring.

“Global cancer incidence has been rising and cancer remains one of the world’s biggest medical challenges. Our technology is focused on the immediate needs of cancer patients – minimising invasive procedures, improving clinical outcomes, facilitating access and optimising cost and efficiency, with just a blood sample,” said Lew, citing how Biolidics traces its roots as a spin-off from the National University of Singapore nearly a decade ago with a mission of developing technology that both lowers healthcare costs and improves clinical outcomes.

With this mission in mind, Biolidics eventually fine-tuned its patented microfluidics technology that can separate wholly intact and viable circulating tumour cells for a variety of downstream cancer diagnostic applications. Biolidics’ quality assurance capabilities have been recognised through its ISO 13485 certification, CE-IVD, US FDA Class I registration and NMPA (formerly CFDA) Class I registration (for the MGI EasyCell System).

Aside from minimising invasive procedures, improving clinical outcomes, and optimising cost and efficiency, Lew reckoned that its platform for enrichment of CTCs can be easily integrated with other analytical tests to develop a wide range of clinical or laboratory developed tests for downstream applications.

Partnering with other industry leaders in China and Japan, Biolidics has started to develop the ClearCell® FX1 System as a platform technology with new business models, such as laboratory-developed tests that further enhance the commercial scalability of its technology and developing new opportunities to expand its offerings through services, partnerships and market expansion.

In Singapore, Biolidics established the Circulating Tumour Cell Center of Research Excellence (CTC CoRE) with the collaboration of the National Cancer Centre of Singapore, in partnership with the Pathology Department of Singapore General Hospital.

“We are at the beginning of what we believe will be the disruption and transformation in the field of cancer diagnostics by new and exciting developments in the area of liquid biopsy. One of our key goals is to advance our novel patented technology within the global oncology community and with our LDTs business model, we have a strong potential to develop innovative cancer diagnostic solutions that more cost-effective and accessible to cancer patients,” concluded Ivan Lew.

Recognising the potential quality of life or productivity improvements from its technology, Biolidics won the top three awards at The Wall Street Journal’s Asian Innovation Awards 2012, as well as the 2nd runner-up for Innovative Biomedical Company of the Year in 2017 given out by BioSingapore.

The Listed Companies Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held last 11 July 2019 at Conrad Centennial Singapore.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Henry Tan, Managing Director, NEXIA TS; Choo Eng Chuan, EY Asean Markets Leader and Partner, International and Corporate Tax Services, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP; Ng Jiak See, Executive Director, Head of Corporate Finance Advisory, Deloitte Singapore & Southeast Asia; and Toh Kim Teck, Assurance Partner, Foo Kon Tan LLP.

Check out the event photos during the awards night here.

If you would like to join the 2020 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technology innovations, please email Eleonor Angeles at

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