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Molecular Diagnostics Developer INEX Innovate Announces Funding for New Research with The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Molecular Diagnostics Developer INEX Innovate Announces Funding for New Research with The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Singapore-based diagnostics developer INEX Innovate brings The Chinese University of Hong Kong together to further research work on LEXI®, INEX’s fetal cell based non-invasive pre-natal diagnostics technology.

SINGAPORE, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Singapore-based diagnostics developer and medical laboratory operator, INEX Innovate has contributed an undisclosed sum to leading Hong Kong university – The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), to collaborate and further research in the field of maternal fetal medicine.

INEX's Dr. Chia-Pin Chang with Prof. Richard Choy of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
INEX’s Dr. Chia-Pin Chang with Prof. Richard Choy of The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The CUHK Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (O&G) is world-renowned for its many prominent contributions and high-impact publications in the scientific community, attributed to its pursuit towards advancing the frontiers of knowledge in O&G through clinical, scientific and translational research. This initiative will tap on the research expertise of CUHK to further advance LEXI®, a novel fetal cell isolation technology developed by INEX Innovate.

LEXI® is a Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic (NIPD) technology that isolates fetal cells from the unborn baby, contained in the pregnant mother’s blood for the definitive analysis of in excess of 7000 potential rare fetal genetic conditions.

Currently, expectant mothers whose prenatal screening results show signs of fetal anomaly are often recommended to undergo prenatal diagnostic tests for a definitive diagnosis of fetal genetic abnormalities, as this allows for early medical treatment of these conditions. However, prevailing diagnostic procedures such as amniocentesis are invasive and carry a risk of pregnancy loss of up to approximately 5 per cent[1].

Developed by INEX’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Chia-Pin Chang, The LEXI® cell isolation and enrichment is a process that isolates, identifies, and extracts target cells such as fetal cells from blood samples. The LEXI® microfluidic chip enables its microfabricated filter to successfully deplete most of non-target cells in a blood sample and effectively capture fetal cells. Clinicians will need to draw one tube of blood from an expectant mother to generate results of the health condition of the fetus.

Chief Executive of INEX Innovate, Kane Black remarked, “We’re thrilled to support and further the research of LEXI® with Professor Richard Choy and his team at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the pioneer centre of scientific excellence that focus on translating research advances into clinical impact both locally and internationally.

Mr. Black further commented fetal cells in maternal blood represent the Holy Grail of prenatal diagnosis. The major challenge has been isolation of these cell from maternal blood owing to their rarity, we look forward to working on this potentially cutting edge medical breakthrough with CUHK.

“We are looking forward to developing  a potentially important breakthrough technology in the field of maternal fetal medicine,” said Prof. Choy, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

[1] Cynthia L. Anderson, MD, and Charles E. L. Brown, MD, MBA, “Fetal Chromosomal Abnormalities: Antenatal Screening and Diagnosis, American Family Physician, 2009 Jan 15;79(2):117-123.

About INEX Innovate:

INEX Innovate is one of Asia’s fastest growing molecular diagnostics developers and medical laboratory operators. 

Founded by veteran maternal foetal medicine specialists, INEX is uniquely positioned to identify and address clinically unmet needs within the fetal health and women’s oncology landscape, with a broad commercial portfolio of validated tests and 48 key patents.

Through our wholly owned subsidiary iGene Laboratory Pte Ltd, INEX operates a state of the art Next Generation Sequencing Laboratory that provides diagnostic testing, clinical research (CRO) and COVID-19 testing services.

The company has been recognised globally with a number of accolades and awards including from Frost & Sullivan, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), The Straits Times – Singapore’s Fastest Growing Companies and the Financial Times ranking of 500 of Asia Pacific’s Fastest Growing Companies.

For more information please visit: www.inex.sg

About The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK):

Founded in 1963, CUHK is a leading comprehensive research university with a global reputation. Located in the heart of Asia, CUHK has a vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.  Under the University’s unique collegiate system, the programmes and activities offered by its nine colleges complement the formal curricula by delivering whole-person education and pastoral care. The University has eight faculties: Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, and Social Science. Together with the Graduate School, the University offers over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All faculties are actively engaged in research in a wide range of disciplines, with an array of research institutes and research centres specialising in interdisciplinary research of the highest quality.

The University currently has more than 1,400 granted patents in different jurisdictions worldwide. Some of these patents have been licensed to relevant industries that help bring these innovations to the market to benefit society. In academic year 2020-21, CUHK has received 226 granted patents and filed 386 patent applications for inventions developed in the areas of medical technology, biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, and materials science.