Updated on 19 December 2012
Mr Cameron Reynolds, CEO, VolitionRx
Genetic diagnostics seems to be the buzzword in the healthcare industry. Start-ups take the route of diagnostics to enter the lucrative life sciences business. VolitionRx is a life sciences company with goal to make its non-invasive blood tests for cancer common and simple to use as existing diabetic and cholesterol tests. The company aims to address the need for inexpensive, accurate, and scalable cancer diagnostics with its NuQ suite of products. With the name meaning the act of deciding on and committing to a course of action, VolitionRx too is committed to developing diagnostic tests for a range of cancers and other conditions.
The company's two chief scientific officers, about five years ago, pulled together a package of intellectual property (IP) around the use of nucleosomes, the basic unit of DNA packaging, as a diagnostic when they were working with a small AIM listed therapeutics company. "Myself and a few key members of our team then established a new company in Singapore, called Volition, in 2009, putting together funding to give this exciting package of IP and the scientists, an independent focus and home" said Mr Cameron Reynolds, CEO, VolitionRx.
The company, although based out of Singapore, has its laboratory, where the internal research is carried out, based in Belgium where the company was awarded a significant grant from the Walloon Regional Government. Praising Singapore, Mr Reynolds said "we were attracted to Singapore as a hub for Asia for its competitive, entrepreneurial tax regime and its strong support for life sciences." The chair of the company's scientific board. Dr Alan Colman, who is based at A*Star in Singapore also motivated the founders to have a regional base in Singapore.
VolitionRx has developed a range of immunoassays based on company's proprietary technology Nucleosomics, an epigenetic profiling platform for the detection of histone variants and post-translational modifications as well as DNA modifications in intact nucleosomes. Nucleosomics allows to profile nucleosomes through a liquid biopsy (serum, plasma or other biofluids) in a standard ELISA format. The tests are a simple double antibody ELISA which captures and labels nucleosomes in a sample. The company is primarily focused on using blood samples, as it is simple to take from patients and would allow the company to detect disease without need for invasive diagnostic surgery, such as a biopsy
Talking about the use of company's products, the CEO explains, "Uses for our product fall into two groups which use exactly the same kit and format. First use is that we have developed a range of 15 immunoassays for the detection and analysis of nucleosome structures, which was launched in December 2012. This kit ranges from EUR 799 to EUR 999 for a 96-well plate kit. Secondly, concurrently, the major market for our tests will be for clinical use in oncology (we are wokring on a range of cancers including the 20 most prevalent cancers) and for other conditions such as endometriosis.