Updated on 15 March 2013
The team behind the success of AseaCyte (BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Awards 2013 winner in the Emerging Company of the Year 2013 category)-(L-R)-Dr Colin Wilde, Dr Joanna Oliver, Seri Ahmad bin Tunku Yahaya, Dr Lee Hong Boon
A meeting between Dr Teo Soo Hwang, current CEO of AseaCyte; Dr Lee Hong Boon from Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), a non-profit cancer research institute in Malaysia; and Dr Colin Wilde, chief scientific officer, AvantiCell Science, in 2008 sparked an idea that later became the very core of AseaCyte's offerings.
The company was established in 2010 with cell culture technology as its foundation and the objective was to play a critical role in drug discovery. This Malaysia-based company, which abides by the theories postulated by German biologist Dr Rudolph Carl Virchow in the mid-19th century, has since become a noticeable player in the domain of human disease analysis through its cell culture technology and cell-based analysis services.
Dr Hwang and Dr Wilde realized the significant synergy in the technologies available at AvantiCell and CARIF. CARIF had the know-how on chemical evaluation of natural products and AvantiCell had high-value cell-based technologies for evaluating the materials. They put their potential together to bring a commercial offering to the market in Malaysia.
Funded by initial capital investment from its founding shareholders, including CARIF, AvantiCell Science and Sime Darby Allied Products, it also successfully secured the BioNexus status from Malaysia's Ministry of Finance. AseaCyte has also received CIP500 Commercialization Grant from investment firm Cradle.
Besides providing cell-based services for applications in drug discovery, natural therapeutics, agri-bio R&D, environmental screening, bioactivity and biosafety testing and other customized applications, AseaCyte is also developing testing services. These are based on cells and enabled technologies to generate and maintain cells taken from humans and animals.