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Thermo Fisher, National University Hospital, Mirxes Partner for NGS Cancer Testing in Singapore

NEW YORK – Thermo Fisher Scientific said Tuesday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore’s National University Hospital (NUH) and Singapore RNA technology company Mirxes to develop and validate next-generation sequencing assays for early cancer detection in the country.

Financial terms and other details of the partnership were not disclosed.

Currently, NUH's Diagnostic Molecular Oncology Center offers NGS testing for four common cancers: non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastrointestinal stromal tumor. The center plans to expand access to the assays for patients in more countries in Southeast Asia, according to Thermo Fisher.

"At Thermo Fisher, we are proud to be able to work with our partners to utilize our NGS system to provide simple and fast next-generation sequencing-based solutions with results in a single day," Sho-Wen Yeo, Thermo Fisher’s VP and general manager of Southeast Asia and Taiwan, said in a statement.

"Over the last 10 years, Mirxes has partnered with NUH and other local research and clinical institutions to develop and commercialize novel RNA-based cancer early detection solutions, such as GastroClear, on Thermo Fisher's PCR platforms," Mirxes Cofounder and CEO Lihan Zhou said in a statement. "We are excited to expand the collaboration with established and long-term partners like Thermo Fisher and NUH to further expand our clinical diagnostic offerings."

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Singapore, Mirxes is developing a blood-based multi-cancer early detection test leveraging its RNA technology platform and "population-scale" sequencing capabilities, according to the company.

The firm also announced on Tuesday that its fully owned subsidiary, Mirxes Japan, has secured a grant of up to ¥20 million ($126,736) from the Japan External Trade Organization’s Subsidy for Projects to Stimulate Direct Investment in Japan program, which fosters collaborations between Japanese and foreign firms and research institutions.

Mirxes said the grant will be used towards a project to develop and validate a novel noninvasive cancer biomarker screening assay service in Japan in collaboration with Nagawa Pharmaceutical.