Innovation That Matters

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New testing kits transform early cancer detection

Health & Wellbeing

Affordable molecular diagnostic kits could make precision medicine much more accessible

Spotted: Average lifespans are increasing, and that means instances of cancer are also on the rise – with around one in five people developing some form of the disease in their lifetime. Spotting cancer early is essential to ensuring the best outcome, but testing is not always affordable or accessible, particularly in low-income countries. This is where PathGen comes in.  

The Indonesian startup’s vision is “global equity in precision medicine” and it hopes to achieve this through its low-cost molecular diagnostic kits for various diseases, including colorectal, lung, cervical, and nasopharynx cancer. Cancer can manifest in very different ways depending on the patient and molecular testing is an important tool to spot specific biomarkers in an individual’s DNA and RNA, which can massively improve the efficiency of disease risk detection, diagnosis, and prognosis. But, this testing is generally very expensive. 

PathGen, on the other hand, makes use of existing PCR (polymerase chain reaction) equipment left over from the COVID pandemic to provide comprehensive diagnostics that are easy to use and much more affordable. The kits can test familial risk when a relative member has already been diagnosed, estimate how severe the case is, and predict treatment outcomes to help shape productive therapy plans.  

Founded in 2020, PathGen recently raised funding from East Ventures and Royal Group Indonesia, which will go towards supporting R&D efforts and market expansion. The funding will also help PathGen advance its technology, and one of the focuses is to develop an AI-powered digital pathology platform to help speed up diagnosis and improve the analysis of patient biomarkers. 

Written By: Archie Cox 




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