Changing Lives through Biomarker Discovery

MiRXES revolutionises preventive healthcare by discovering unique biomarkers to solve real-world problems.

Talent is the key to knowledge creation and innovation. Hong Kong has a deep pool of talent and many renowned and well-respected research experts.

Dr Lihan Zhou
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, MiRXES

The discovery of biomarkers leads to a paradigm shift from a reactive to a predictive, preventive, and personalised clinical care model. It enables early detection of diseases, predicts disease progression and outcome, guides treatment decisions, and ultimately, saves lives.

MiRXES is a biotechnology company founded in 2014 as a spin-off from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR). It translates research discoveries to deliver early detection of multiple cancers using proprietary RNA-powered blood tests. In 2021, MiRXES established its Hong Kong office to support its business expansion in the city and in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) to accelerate the global development of a truly preventive healthcare system.

Empowering Healthcare to Shape the Future

Dr Lihan Zhou, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MiRXES, believes that prevention is better than cure. In 2019, MiRXES launched GASTROClear — the world’s first microRNA blood test for early detection of gastric cancer. Its multi-cancer early detection pipeline includes screening tests for lung, colorectal, liver, breast, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.

The company aims to leverage Hong Kong’s strengths and rich resources to create a vibrant research and development scene. Zhou stated, “Talent is the key to knowledge creation and innovation. Hong Kong has a deep pool of talent and many renowned and well-respected research experts. Hence, we are optimistic about steering the future of healthcare by collaborating with our Singapore team.”

MiRXES is currently seeking regulatory approval of its products in Mainland China and will expand the application of its versatile miRNA technology platform for the research and diagnostics of cardiovascular, metabolic, and infectious diseases.

Hong Kong — An Ideal Launch Pad for the GBA

Hong Kong has been tasked with developing a regional innovation and technology hub under the national 14th five-year plan promulgated in March 2021, which will offer tremendous business opportunities for biotechnology and healthcare companies to thrive. With a network of six offices in Asia and North America, MiRXES sees Hong Kong as an excellent foundation for the company’s foray into the GBA market, given its accessibility and immense interconnectivity within the GBA. Zhou said, “Mainland China’s increasingly health-conscious and ageing population has created a surging demand for the biotechnology industry. This enables MiRXES’s groundbreaking RNA technology used in early disease detection to deliver major clinical and socioeconomic benefits to Hong Kong and the GBA.”

Another advantage of setting up an office in Hong Kong is access to the capital market. According to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, Hong Kong has become Asia’s most prominent and the world’s second-largest biotech fundraising centre. “Hong Kong’s active and mature capital market, backed by a reliable rule of law, allows us to accelerate our multi-cancer pipeline development and intensify commercial expansion,” Zhou remarked.

Martin Law, Managing Director of the Hong Kong office, MiRXES, appreciates the effort made by InvestHK to bring people and businesses of the life science industry together. “I attended a networking event for pharmaceuticals and life sciences industries spearheaded by InvestHK. It was a great opportunity to expand MiRXES’s network and help foster a collaborative culture in the biotech industry. I believe there will be more collaboration in the future which benefits our branding and expansion in Hong Kong and the GBA,” he concluded.


Fast Facts

  • Received US$87 million in Series C funding in 2021. A total of US$130 million has been raised since its inception in 2014, the largest funding to date raised by a Singapore-headquartered cancer diagnostics company
  • The Hong Kong office aims to have around seven staff in 2022, and increase to a team of 15 to 20 people in the next three years to support key business functions in operations, sales and marketing, business development, and research and clinical partnerships

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