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NUS Spinout Endofotonics Launches with New Cancer Diagnosis Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A new company spun out of the National University of Singapore (NUS) launched today with a technology that it said can instantly provide a diagnosis for gastric and esophageal cancers during endoscopy.

The company, Endofotonics, is further developing the in-vivo molecular diagnostic (IMDX) system for a commercial launch, possibly by 2018, according to its Co-founder and CEO Florence Leong.

The IMDX technology is an endoscopic device that uses computer software to analyze molecular information during a gastroscopic examination, and then provides a diagnosis. According to Endofotonics, IMDX "enables [an] objective cancer diagnosis to be available almost instantaneously during endoscopy."

IMDX consists of a spectroscopy system made up of a spectrum-stabilized near-infrared 785 nanometer diode laser; a high-throughput transmissive imaging spectrograph; a near-infrared-optimized charge-coupled device camera; a proprietary fiber-optic confocal Raman endoscopic probe; and a proprietary online customized computer-based software control system.

The technology was developed at NUS and is licensed exclusively to Endofotonics.

The company said that preliminary data showed IMDX has a diagnostic accuracy of better than 90 percent in gastric dysplasia, gastric cancer, and esophageal cancer. A lab prototype of the technology has been built, and the next step is to create a commercial prototype that can be manufactured that meets regulatory requirements.

Endofotonics has raised about S$700,000 (US$560,000) and is seeking government funding to support production of the IMDX system, it said.