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Singapore, 13 May 2024 – The National University Hospital (NUH) and Mirxes are proud to announce the official opening of the NUH DMOC@Biopolis, one of Singapore’s first publicprivate partnership centres for specialty molecular testing. The NUH DMOC@Biopolis is an extension of NUH’s Diagnostic Molecular Oncology Centre (DMOC) that co-locates and integrates with Mirxes’ clinical laboratory, M Diagnostics at Biopolis. The Centre was inaugurated today by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, and Chairman of the National Research Foundation (NRF), Mr Heng Swee Keat.

A Pioneering Partnership in Precision Medicine

2. The culmination of a partnership first initiated in September 2020 and operational since April 2023, the NUH DMOC@Biopolis holds a unique distinction: two clinical laboratories accredited with their respective HCSA (Healthcare Services Act) licenses at a single site. It marks the integration of NUH’s extensive clinical expertise with Mirxes’ cutting-edge molecular testing infrastructure, catalysing the development and adoption of medical innovations in clinical settings. This unique and timely partnership also brings together expertise and resources from both public and private sectors, fostering knowledge sharing and innovation in specialty molecular testing.

Transforming Cancer Treatment

3. The NUH DMOC@Biopolis offers the APEX (Actionable, Personalized, EXpress) cancer treatment selection test, a cutting-edge 50-gene targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) panel (refer to Annex A for more details). This test identifies genetic alterations in tumours that may respond favourably to specific targeted therapies, helping to predict patients’ response to certain treatments and potentially improving patient outcomes. This has unlocked new possibilities for individualised and precision medicine to become a reality for cancer patients. Developed and validated by DMOC and M Diagnostics, APEX offers significant advantages:

  • Reduced Cost: Public sector patients may benefit from more than 50% cost reduction, compared to sending samples overseas, enhancing the affordability and accessibility of such advanced genomics techniques to patients who need them.
  • Faster Turnaround Time: Test results are available in just 8 working days, compared to 3 weeks previously.
  • Improved Patient Access: As of February 2024, APEX had benefitted over 300 local patients mainly from the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore and over 1,000 patients in regional countries like Malaysia and Thailand. Potential partnerships with pharmaceutical companies will make it even more accessible.

The Future of Precision Medicine

4. The NUH DMOC@Biopolis is committed to advancing precision oncology through NGS-based tumour profiling and molecular tumour characterisation to provide valuable insights on the detailed characteristics of molecular changes in a tumour. Another NGS test in the pipeline is COMPASS (COMPrehensive ASSay), the Centre’s latest comprehensive genomic profiling service. COMPASS sequences 1,021 genes in a single test, enabling more personalised treatment decisions to be made across multiple solid tumour types.

5. A/Prof Tan Soo Yong, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Pathology, NUH, said: “With cancer being the leading cause of death in Singapore, it is imperative for us, as a leading academic medical centre, to continuously harness science and technology to advance our capabilities in early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. Collaborations with industry partners such as Mirxes remain a critical cornerstone in our pursuit towards advanced solutions and optimised patient outcomes. These partnerships bring our respective teams’ expertise and specialised skills closer to developing patient-focused innovation and lifechanging therapies.”

6. “The inauguration of the NUH DMOC@Biopolis is a significant milestone in Singapore’s journey towards a future of advanced and accessible precision medicine. This public-private partnership is a landmark achievement, leveraging Mirxes’ leading technology and NUH’s pathology expertise. Together, we’re transforming cancer care for all patients in Singapore and the region through NGS,” added Dr Zhou Lihan, Co-Founder and CEO of

Chinese Glossary

National University Hospital (NUH)
国立大学医院 (国大医院)
National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS)
新加坡国立大学癌症中心 (国大癌症中心)
Associate Professor Tan Soo Yong
Head & Senior Consultant
Department of Pathology,
National University Hospital
Dr Zhou Lihan
Co-Founder and CEO,
NUH’s Diagnostic Molecular Oncology Centre@Biopolis
国大医院分子肿瘤诊断中心 – 启奥城
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) panel

About National University Hospital

The National University Hospital (NUH) is Singapore’s leading university hospital. While the hospital at Kent Ridge first received its patients on 24 June 1985, our legacy started from 1905, the date of the founding of what is today the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. NUH is the principal teaching hospital of the medical school.

Our unique identity as a university hospital is a key attraction for healthcare professionals who aspire to do more than practise tertiary medical care. We offer an environment where research and teaching are an integral part of medicine, and continue to shape medicine and transform care for the community we care for.

We are an academic medical centre with over 1,200 beds, serving more than one million patients a year with over 50 medical, surgical and dental specialties. NUH is the only public and not-for-profit hospital in Singapore to provide trusted care for adults, women and children under one roof, including the only paediatric kidney and liver transplant programme in the country.

The NUH is a key member of the National University Health System (NUHS), one of three public healthcare clusters in Singapore.

About Mirxes

Mirxes is a leading RNA technology company that is making cancer early detection solutions accessible on a global scale. Leading the global fight against cancer, our flagship initiative, Project CADENCE (Cancer Detected Early caN be CurEd), leverages our industry-leading RNA technology platform, deep expertise in PCR diagnostics, and population-scale nextgeneration sequencing (NGS) capabilities to create a blood-based multi-cancer early detection test to alleviate cancer burden, save lives and reduce healthcare costs. Founded in 2014, Mirxes is a high growth company, headquartered in Singapore, producing diagnostic test kits for early disease detection globally and delivering research and clinical testing services for preventive healthcare and precision medicine to key markets in Asia and beyond.

What is Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)?

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) serves as the genetic blueprint for all living things. It’s a complex molecule comprised of four unique building blocks: Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), and Thymine (T). The sequence of these building blocks within the DNA is critical, as it represents the genetic code dictating an organism’s traits and functions.

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) is a powerful technology that revolutionised the field of genomics. It allows researchers to rapidly determine the exact sequence of A, C, G and T within the DNA. This essentially enables us to “read” the genetic code with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Prior to NGS, sequencing an entire human genome could take years. Today, NGS can accomplish this feat in a single day.

The applications of NGS are vast and have significantly advanced our understanding of health and biology. This technology plays a key role in various areas, including deciphering an organism’s complete genetic makeup, identifying which genes are actively working in a cell, detecting variations in the DNA sequence that may be linked to diseases, and studying the communities of microorganisms inhabiting various environments in the human body.

NGS in Cancer Treatment Selection

Targeted therapy revolutionises cancer treatment by deploying drugs that zero in on specific vulnerabilities within cancer cells. These vulnerabilities often stem from mutations in the cancer’s DNA. Researchers design drugs to exploit these mutations, essentially disrupting critical pathways the cancer relies on to survive and multiply.

NGS plays a pivotal role in identifying these mutations. NGS unveils the complete sequence of a patient’s tumour DNA, and this detailed picture empowers doctors to identify specific mutations that might render the cancer susceptible to targeted therapies.

Previously, identifying cancer mutations involved testing only specific, frequently mutated regions of the genome. These single-gene tests were limited in scope, often requiring repeated testing to explore the possibility of other genetic alterations. Compared to this cumbersome approach, NGS tests like APEX boast superior accuracy, sensitivity, and speed. By analysing multiple genes simultaneously, NGS eliminates the need for multiple tests, potentially reducing turnaround time and costs. Additionally, NGS conserves precious biopsy samples for future testing, where required.

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