Lucence secures $20M Series A for early cancer detection, screening and treatment selection
Lucence, a genomic medicine startup company focused on personalizing cancer care, has closed $20 million in Series A funding to provide its liquid biopsy technology to more patients across Asia and North America for personalized treatment selection. The round was led by IHH Healthcare, with participation from SGInnovate, together with existing investors Temasek Holdings subsidiary Heliconia Capital, Lim Kaling, Koh Boon Hwee and others.
Founded in 2016 by Minhan Tan, Pan Zhao, and Yukti Choudhury, that Singapore-based Lucence invents full spectrum of cancer diagnostics covering early-stage screening to late-stage treatment selection with a special focus on common cancers in Asia. Lucence spun out of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in 2016.
In 2018, the company introduced its flagship next-generation sequencing test, LiquidHALLMARK, the first and only clinical sequencing blood test that detects both cancer-related gene mutations and cancer-causing viruses within a single assay. The test has been used by oncologists in cancer diagnosis, monitoring and treatment selection for over 1,000 patients in Asia to date.
The LiquidHALLMARK detects clinically relevant mutations across 14 cancer types, including lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, nasopharyngeal and liver cancers. The test is based on Lucence’s core molecular watermarking technology, AmpliMARK, for improved accuracy and depth in sequencing results. In 2019, Lucence’s Singapore central laboratory became the first laboratory in Southeast Asia to be CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited in order to bring LiquidHALLMARK to physicians and patients in the United States.
“Our mission is to reduce worldwide suffering through early cancer detection. As a medical oncologist, I have worked in the clinic and the laboratory for over a decade, striving towards a world where cancer can be overcome with early screening. Our research discoveries, such as the identification of the circulating tumor-endothelial cluster, can transform the liquid biopsy field, allowing better non-invasive cancer screening and profiling for patients. This partnership with IHH Healthcare will accelerate our work to achieve early cancer detection and effective cures, and expand access to this much-needed liquid biopsy technology to patients across Asia and the United States,” said Dr. Min-Han Tan, MBBS, PhD, founder and CEO of Lucence.
Dr. Kelvin Loh, Chief Executive Officer (Designate) of IHH Healthcare, said, “Liquid biopsy is a game-changer in our endeavor to provide cancer patients with better, value-driven outcomes through precise treatment selections and more affordable care. Our investment in Lucence will provide IHH patients with better access to this advanced technology. IHH looks to drive greater synergies with Lucence and co-develop solutions for patients, as well as explore opportunities to sharpen our precision medicine capabilities with other like-minded partners across our 10-country network.”