Singapore's Inex, Nova Satra merge to form women's diagnostic health group

Singapore
The new company, dubbed Inex Innovate, aims to broaden the commercial reach of its reproductive health, prenatal exam and cancer testing offerings across the Asia-Pacific region. (Nikada iStock)

Two molecular diagnostics companies based in Singapore have announced plans to merge with the goal of developing precision medicine tests focused on the needs of women across Asia. 

In a $72 million deal, Inex Innovations Exchange and Nova Satra will combine their laboratory, R&D and distribution arms as well as their patents and trademarks. 

The new company, dubbed Inex Innovate, aims to broaden the commercial reach of its reproductive health, prenatal exam and cancer testing offerings across the Asia-Pacific region and expand into new markets such as Indonesia and Bangladesh. 

“Asian countries now account for 40% of breast cancer cases worldwide and 37% of cancers diagnosed in females are in Asia,” said Nova Satra CEO Kane Black, the newly formed company's chief. “Inex Innovate is now well equipped to bring our proprietary tests to more patients and physicians in Asia and beyond,” Black said. 

The company’s pipeline includes OvaCis, a point-of-care diagnostic that aims to quickly classify benign and malignant ovarian cysts; Zena, a blood test for ovarian cancer; and NovoTect BC, an epigenetics test for the early detection of breast cancer. Inex Innovate said it plans to commercialize these tests in Asia by 2020.

“Looking at Asia’s aging female population and the resulting demographics, the need for diagnostic offerings and precision health care is only going to rise,” said Sidney Yee, co-founder and a director of Inex Innovations Exchange. “Inex Innovate has a deep understanding of Asian demographics and a unique offering of both diagnostic products and care delivery services.”

The merger was backed by investors including the Asian multinational conglomerate Genting Berhad, the government funding agency Enterprise Singapore and the investment firm SNS Holdings. Genting’s president and chief operating officer, Tan Kong Han, and legal Senior Vice President Goh Lee Sian will both join Inex Innovate’s board of directors.