X-ZELL named second-most innovative health tech start-up in the world
Singapore, November 2020 – X-ZELL placed second in a virtual referendum to determine the world’s most innovative health technology start-up. Fellow Singaporean start-up, Plano, took home the overall win after an eight-week voting process.
Organised by global analyst firm, Galen Growth, the 2020 referendum pitted the world’s 64 most promising digital health start-ups against each other in a knock-out tournament. It was the first time for the competition to not only focus on Asia, but also include the US, Europe and the Middle East.
According to Galen Growth – which can draw on a 6,300 company strong digital health database called HealthTech Alpha – 59 finalists were pre-selected based on business momentum, coverage, clinical approvals and funding performance.
X-ZELL – a member of the 2020 Galen Growth Cohort – entered the competition as one of five “wildcard entries” nominated by popular vote, and made it to the final two after five hard-fought rounds of voting.
The winner was announced yesterday as part of the 5th annual Galen Growth HealthTech Summit– a virtual, invite-only event dedicated to digital health across the globe.
X-ZELL Founder & CEO, Dr Sebastian Bhakdi, commented, “Heartiest congratulations to the team at Plano, especially Founding Managing Director and Associate Professor, Mohamed Dirani – we couldn’t be more excited for a fellow Singaporean company to take home the win. Thank you to everyone who voted for us and helped a wild card entry make the Grand Final.”
He added, “Thank you also to the Galen Growth team for creating such a powerful, global platform for the health-tech community. It’s safe to say the competition has become a fixture on our calendar and we already look forward to the 2021 edition.
“Having made the 2020 Finals has been an incredible experience for us – especially now that the competition is also covering the US and Europe. We will take it as a mandate to keep pushing ahead and bringing our early cancer technology to as many as people as possible.”
Click here for the official press release: https://bit.ly/38ag7p8
X-ZELL’s vision is to save lives by identifying clinically significant cancers early, when there is still time to act and take charge of our health. X-ZELL first made headlines in 2017 when it found a way to routinely locate tumour-associated Circulating Endothelial Cells (tCEC) in a small, 10mL blood sample. Known to be powerful biomarkers for the early detection of aggressive cancers, tCEC were long considered ‘undetectable’ in clinical routine. X-ZELL overcame the impasse by developing a platform technology that is capable of detecting a single tCEC among five billion healthy blood cells and analysing it using Artificial Intelligence – making for an affordable, non-invasive solution with maximum scalability. Less than a year after that breakthrough, X-ZELL was able to present the world’s first tCEC-based blood test for the early detection of clinically significant prostate cancer – X-ZELL™ Prostate. But one cancer is not enough. X-ZELL’s ambition is to make accurate, affordable tCEC screening available to everyone, everywhere – which is why additional tests for common cancers such as breast, ovarian, colon and lung have already gone into pre-development, with more to come. They all feed into the creation of an AI-driven general screening test that will be able to scrutinise our blood for atypical cells and analyse them on-screen – allowing physicians to manage our health proactively instead of just responding to a disease.
Plano is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI)-Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator program. Founded in September 2017, Plano seeks to address myopia, which is a major public health challenge affecting an estimated two billion people today and will affect a projected five billion (half of the world’s population) by 2050. Plano recently launched the world’s first science-based parental control application, planoApp, with a vision to “keep all eyes healthy in our digitised world”.