Updated on 15 March 2013
VolitionRx, Singapore, gets BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Awards 2013 in the Emerging Company of the Year 2013 category
Driven by the demand for affordable and simple diagnostics, VolitionRx has been focusing on diagnostic tests for cancer that are as simple and easy-to-use as the diabetes and cholesterol tests of today.
The Singapore-based company, which draws the first part of its name from the word 'volition' that means the faculty or power of using one's will, is committed to making blood tests for cancer non-invasive, while also ensuring that they are accurate, affordable and scalable. Its NuQ suite of products is a successful step towards fulfilling this goal.
About five years ago, the company's two chief scientific officers, Dr Jake Micallef and Dr Mark Eccleston, pulled together a package of intellectual property (IP) around the use of nucleosomes, the basic unit of DNA packaging, as a diagnostic while working with a small AIM-listed therapeutics company. Recalling the genesis of the company, Mr Cameron Reynolds, CEO, VolitionRx, says, "We established Volition in 2009, putting together the funding to give this exciting package of IP and the scientists an independent focus and home."
The company, which has its research laboratory in Belgium, chose Singapore as its base because of various reasons. "We were attracted to Singapore for its competitive, entrepreneurial tax regime and its strong support for life sciences," points out Mr Reynolds. 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 the base in Singapore.
Talking about the funding for the company, Mr Reynolds says, "Much of our early funding came from entrepreneurial investors and small private funds who invested about $4.35 million. We were also awarded a very generous funding of over $1.3 million (one million euros) by the Walloon regional government in Belgium."