Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

A*STAR enters into public-private partnership to develop personalised cancer treatment

A*STAR enters into public-private partnership to develop personalised cancer treatment

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR),  Singapore's lead public sector agency for economic oriented research, entered into a partnership with a Singapore-based start-up, Invitrocue, on July 25. Invitrocue is a healthcare bio-analytic solutions provider operating at the forefront of personalised medicine.

Through the public-private partnership, a first-of-its-kind joint laboratory has been established with A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) to develop tumour models for enhancing decision-making for clinicians, enabling them to personalise treatments that will help patients manage the disease and prolong survival.

The laboratory is the first in Asia-Pacific to focus on the integration of phenotypic and genomic data (the genotype refers to the genetic constitution of an individual, while phenotype is the composite of an organism's observable characteristics or traits).

The laboratory will focus on the development and integration of Invitrocue’s Onco-PDOTM platform for four oncology indications, including head and neck cancer; colorectal cancer; liver cancer; and triple-negative breast cancer. These cancers were specially chosen as they are diseases with no biomarker-guided therapy, and are prevalent in Singapore and across Southeast Asia.

Onco-PDO enables Invitrocue to grow patient-derived tumour cells (an organoid) in its laboratories, which serve as a simulation of the cancer cells. Using 3D cell-based scaffolding technology (biocompatible scaffolds are used in bioprinting to generate tissue-like three-dimensional structures by dispensing cells onto them) patient-derived cancer cells can be potentially cultured in laboratories and used for testing against a panel of approved drugs and new drug candidates.

This helps bio-pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers and academic institutions to understand the impact of cancer treatments early, prior to conducting time consuming and expensive clinical trials. Since, the testing is based on cells derived from an individual patient, the treatment is personalised.

Tumour models derived from patients, functional genomics (functional genomics studies aim to understand the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype on a genome-wide scale, rather than a gene-by-gene approach) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) or data mining will be used to identify novel biomarkers (a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention) of drug resistance and response, and to provide real-time guidance of treatment in a clinical setting.

The joint laboratory will leverage GIS’ expertise in genomics, oncology and organoid biology, and Invitrocue’s capabilities in developing cell-based products and services for commercialisation. The joint laboratory will employ up to 20 personnel in various scientific and technical roles, and targets to add 18 new positions which require cell biology and bioengineering expertise over the next two years. Invitrocue has also partnered with groups in Australia, such as the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, to scale up its efforts.

Dr. Steven Fang, Executive Director and Founder of Invitrocue, and Adjunct Professor of the University of Adelaide, said, “The GIS-IVQ Joint Laboratory is another significant milestone for Invitrocue, and a happy reunion story since the company was spun-off from A*STAR five years ago in 2012. Our innovative approach in using bioanalytics for healthcare has been validated by leading pharmaceutical companies. The new lab will bring our work another step closer to commercialisation for life-saving technologies that essentially takes the guesswork out of cancer treatment and improves the quality of life for the patient.”

“We are delighted to partner Invitrocue; this collaboration will help to advance our research in precision medicine and most importantly, contribute to better patient outcomes through the development of new treatments,” said Prof. Ng Huck Hui, Executive Director of GIS.

Featured photo: Biopolis, Singapore, where the laboratory is located/ Credit: Henry Leong Him WohCC BY-SA 2.0

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.