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Healthtech firm Endofotonics banks USD 12 million to bring cancer detection tech to market

Endofotonics developed Spectra IMDx, a system that enables real-time detection of early gastric cancer during endoscopy.

Singapore-based healthtech firm Endofotonics said it has raised USD 12 million in Series B funding led by Singapore Medical Group execs.

Endofotonics was founded in 2013 by Lawrence Ho, a senior consultant gastroenterologist with the National University Hospital in Singapore. It is currently led by CEO Peter Cheng, chief operations officer Chew Jing Ming, and lead optical specialist Harsono Cahyadi.

Its core 12-person team has developed Spectra IMDx, a system that enables real-time detection of early gastric cancer during endoscopy. It uses Raman spectroscopy, a non-destructive chemical analysis technique, embedded within an optical probe that can fit through an endoscope. It then leverages machine learning algorithms to look for molecular changes that typically occur beyond the stomach lining.

“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,” said Cheng. The technology can also be adapted to help identify safety margins for dissections or resections, the CEO added.

With the new funds, Endofotonics aims to drive commercialization efforts for Spectra IMDx in Asia Pacific and extend the technology’s cancer detection capabilities for other organs. The company also looks to launch its system in Europe and selected countries in Asia in 2021.

Endofotonics secured its Series A funding in 2016 from Zig Ventures and Enterprise Singapore investment arm Seeds Capital. Zig Ventures worked with Ho to build Endofotonics’ core team, while Enterprise Singapore helped the company gain access to global talent, according to a statement.

Ted Tan, chairman of Seeds Capital and deputy CEO of Enterprise Singapore, said they will keep working with Endofotonics in commercializing Spectra IMDx in the region and beyond.

This article first appeared in Tech in Asia. Photo courtesy of Pexels.