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Avatamed, A*STAR Launch Joint Precision Oncology Lab in Singapore

NEW YORK – Singapore-based Avatamed and Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, or A*STAR, said on Tuesday that they have established a joint lab to provide precision oncology services to oncologists and pharmaceutical companies in Singapore.

Specifically, Avatamed and A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, or IMCB, will use Avatamed's drug screening platform, Avatascan, to screen patient-derived cells and tumor tissue for potential responses to a panel of targeted drugs. The lab will then present results of the drug screening together with patients' genetic information to oncologists to help inform targeted treatment selection.

The joint lab, located in IMCB's Proteos building in Biopolis, Singapore, will also offer its technology and database to pharmaceutical companies to help accelerate precision oncology drug development.

Last year, the firm also announced a partnership with South Korean biotech firm Macrogen to commercialize precision oncology services in Southeast Asia and Europe. 

According to a statement from Toh Hong Boon, Avatamed's CEO, the firm was initially launched as a spinoff from A*STAR, meaning that the new joint lab brings the partnership full circle. "We are delighted to be back where it all started," he said. "Precision medicine is the future, and we want to bring Avatascan to benefit patients and the industry."