INEX Innovate: how this home-grown health research firm is saving lives
It is a pretty universal fact that health check ups are unpleasant. This holds true even more so for women who need to undergo tests for fatal ailments like Ovarian or Breast. Yet sadly, unless they take these tests, it is unlikely that they will be detected in time for it to be treated. Despite this, many people continue to avoid these tests due to their highly intrusive nature.
INEX innovate, which is a Singaporean company, has seemingly created a solution for this by doing away with the intrusive tests, replacing them with diagnostic test kits.
Mr Kane Black, who is the chief executive officer of the company, believes that a non-intrusive test can help by encouraging women to take these tests earlier, so as to improve their chances of recovery from these women-specific illnesses.
In addition to the creation of these life-saving test kits, INEX innovate managed to serve the people of Singapore by promptly mobilizing their Igene laboratory to became one of Singapore’s first private laboratories to undertake Polymerase Chain Reaction testing for Covid-19 in 2020.
It was one of the first few laboratories in Singapore to provide pooled saliva testing in December of 2021. It entails gently stroking the individual’s cheeks to encourage saliva before transferring it to a collecting device, and it’s ideal for toddlers and the elderly who might find nose swabs painful.
The company has also partnered with organizations such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, Jakarta-listed group PT Itama Ranoraya, and Saint John’s Cancer Institute in the United States to keep its finger on the pulse of health.
Advances in Women’s Health
Despite the shift towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic both locally and overseas, they did not neglect their research in the development of Women’s testing kits. When it comes to many of these women-specific ailments, timing is key since not much can be done when these ailments reach a late stage. With Breast and Ovarian Cancer being the first and second most common cancers among women, it is imperative that the women in our community get tested frequently and quickly. By developing non-methods of diagnostic testing that women can use, it is not a stretch to say that this is a life-saving development in women’s healthcare.
It released its Human Papillomavirus RNA High Risk Screen on January 3, which identifies HPV strains 16 and 18 that are known to cause cervical cancer using a vaginal swab.
XENA®, a tool in development, diagnoses ovarian cancer using blood samples rather than invasive biopsy. According to Mr Black, the results of a Phase 1 research involving more than 400 individuals were encouraging.
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