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Singapore-based Start-up Clinches Top Prize at MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific 2020 Grand Finals

X-ZELL was announced in November 2020 as the winner of the 2020 Asia Pacific Accelerator program organized by MedTech Innovator, the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world, in partnership with Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed).

Based in Singapore, X-ZELL is developing an accurate, affordable, and globally scalable early cancer detection from small, 10 millilitre blood samples. Selected from a pool of nearly 170 early-stage MedTech companies, X-ZELL was awarded the US$150,000 non-dilutive grand prize to advance its business goals and mission to improve future health outcomes of patients in the Asia Pacific region. The company was also awarded a one-year membership to APACMed. Cartosense, Healthy Networks, Remidio, and Sporogenics also participated in the organization’s Accelerator program and competed in the Grand Finals, each receiving a US$10,000 cash prize.

Judges of the 2020 Asia Pacific final competition included Kiyoshi Miyake, Senior Expert, Technology Scouting and Collaboration, Office of CTO, Olympus; Peter Hawkes, Head of Business Development, Medical Devices Asia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson; Julie Tay, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Align Technology; Florian Belohlavek, Head of Strategy, Marketing and Sales, Asia Pacific, Siemens Healthineers; Tomoko Ishikura, Business Development Advisor, Nipro Corporation.

“Being part of the MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific Accelerator program has been a truly rewarding experience – not only because of the lessons we learned and the mentorship we received, but also because of the powerful network we were able to build,” said Dr Sebastian Bhakdi, Founder and CEO of X-ZELL.

“We feel honoured to be recognized as the 2020 Asia Pacific Grand Prize winner. The funding will help us tremendously in bringing our first liquid biopsy to market in Singapore by June next year – the first step in making accurate, affordable cancer screening available to everyone, anywhere in the world.”

X-ZELL was also announced winner of Enterprise Singapore’s (ESG) Startup SG award, comprising a SG$30,000 grant prize, and access to extensive resources and networks within Singapore’s start-up ecosystem. Additionally, they will be fast-tracked to ESG’s SLINGSHOT global start-up competition at the Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology (SWITCH) in December 2020, where they will pitch their solutions on a global stage and stand to win additional prizes.

“This year has increased the urgency for new and effective health solutions around the world and I am extremely impressed by the high-calibre of innovation we’ve seen in our 2020 Asia Pacific cohort,” said Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator.

“I am honoured to recognize X-ZELL as this year’s Asia Pacific Grand Prize winner and I have no doubt that its technology will bring immense value to patients, health care providers, and the health care system as a whole.”

MedTech Innovator works closely with stakeholders across the industry to foster the growth of early to mid-stage start-ups. MedTech Innovator’s 2020 Asia Pacific program sponsors include Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies which has committed to a three-year sponsorship of the program, Align Technology, Nipro Medical Corporation, Oliver Healthcare Packaging, Olympus Medical Systems Group, Siemens Healthineers, and Enterprise Singapore. The MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific Program is held in partnership with APACMed. [APBN]