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HIAS: The challenge of medical innovation

X-ZELL chief executive Sebastian Bhakdi reflected on the opportunities and challenges biotechnology start-ups face in Asia and why so many of them fail to go all the way from ideation to product launch at this year’s HealthInvestor Asia Summit at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

As head of one of Asia’s first Silicon Valley-backed biotech start-ups, Bhakdi revealed that there were many crucial lessons he and his team had to learn the hard way. “If you asked me what biotech is all about, I would tell you it should improve people’s lives and make medicine more efficient,” he explained. “If you then asked me what’s holding back many businesses in this space, I’d reply that most of them lose sight of these basic goals too quickly.”

According to Bhakdi, researchers regularly fail to consult practitioners and take market trends into account as they develop new assays.

The result, he said, was a situation where problems and solutions are often misaligned. “Successful companies find ways to build bridges between all stakeholders,” he reiterated. “If you want to make a different to a patient’s life, you have to make sure your test actually reaches them. To achieve that, a doctor will have to prescribe your test. There is no other way.”

Bhakdi’s TED-style presentation also revealed that X-ZELL is back in fundraising mode as the company’s first commercial product, X-ZELL Prostate, nears completion. “I am very happy to announce that we are commencing our validation study for X-ZELL Prostate right here in Singapore,” he said. “Starting right now, we will collaborate with a leading local hospital to make sure our test will reach the market as soon as possible.”

Posted on: 16/05/2018 UTC+08:00


News

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Analysis

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