After eight years in development, a Singapore startup is preparing to launch its cancer-testing kits. The team’s vision, says co-CEO Dr. Zhou Lihan, is “a world without late-stage cancer.”
“Late diagnosis is really why the prognosis of cancer patients are so poor today,” explains Zhou. He adds that for many cancers, “if they are discovered at the early stage, the five-year survival is more than 90 percent. Many of which can even be cured.”
Zhou’s startup, Ark, today announced it has secured US$40 million in funding ahead of the early 2019 rollout of its first non-invasive, blood-based cancer test kit, which is focused on gastric cancer. The startup aims to eradicate late-stage cancer by 2048 with the aid of its affordable and easy-to-use test kits. The date was set, Zhou explains, “to inspire our own team” as they eventually develop kits for other forms of cancer. Its test for gastric cancer will initially launch in Singapore and China, costing “below 200 Singapore dollars,” which is around US$145. Prices may vary across markets due to wildly differing lab work costs.