Singapore selected as major hub for Diaceutics’ expansion into Asia

17 Jan 2019

Damian Thornton, chief operating officer of Diaceutics. Image: Declan Roughan/Press Eye

Diaceutics’ Asian expansion is well underway as more than 10pc of its revenues already come from the region.

Fast-growing Irish medtech player Diaceutics is opening a new regional hub in Singapore to increase exposure of patients in Asia to life-saving therapies.

It said that it is building an initial team of six in Singapore that consists of lab directors, data scientists and sales personnel. The expansion is being supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

‘Singapore provides the ideal hub from which to ramp up our work in Asia, and the EDB was instrumental in helping us to establish here’

The Dundalk-based firm is a diagnostics and data company that has experience in more than 300 precision medicine projects and it works with 31 of the world’s top 35 pharmaceutical companies.

The core focus is to ensure patients get access to potentially life-saving therapies. Each year, its technology helps 48,000 cancer patients in the US and EU get biomarker testing and therefore potentially gain access to the right drug for their specific condition.

Diaceutics is making a global impact

Diaceutics was founded in 2005 by Peter and Ryan Keeling and, in April, raised €4.3m in financing from White Rock Capital Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.

In terms of its move to Singapore, the company estimates that there are currently more than 300 targeted oncology drugs in late-stage development across the major Asian markets. From its Asian HQ, the company will support the launch of – and access to – precision therapies in China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.

It already works with 166 laboratories across Asia. In order to maximise patient impact, it will expand its Asian laboratory network, allowing it to gather patient testing data, and work with pharmaceutical companies and local manufacturers to improve testing accuracy and turnaround times. As a result, more people in Asia will be able to access the treatment that is right for them, giving them the best possible chance of recovery.

“Diaceutics is on a mission to improve patient outcomes worldwide through better testing,” said Damian Thornton, chief operating officer at Diaceutics. “With more than half of the world’s population residing in Asia, this is a natural step for us.

“Singapore provides the ideal hub from which to ramp up our work in Asia, and the EDB was instrumental in helping us to establish here. We are excited to have a very skilled team of scientists and businesspeople, who share the company’s vision of helping to improve patient outcomes through better testing.

“We expect our presence in Asia will be buoyed by recent activity in the Chinese precision medicine market. The country is making a concerted effort to provide those who get sick access to the latest and most effective treatments. That means rapidly approving groundbreaking new drugs.

“This is making it an attractive market for pharmaceutical companies to launch new therapies and, as more targeted treatments become available, efficient biomarker testing will be crucial to getting those drugs to the right people. That is where we believe we will make a difference – not only in China but also throughout the rest of Asia,” Thornton said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years