A subsidiary of STMicrelectronics in Singapore has teamed up with the A*Star Agency for Science, Technology and Research to develop the first lab-on-a-chip that can detect multiple infectious tropical diseases.
Veredus Laboratories has developed the first biochip in the molecular diagnostics market that can identify 13 different major tropical diseases from a single blood sample, testing for killers such as dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya, and hand, foot and mouth disease, in the field.
Developed with infectious disease expertise from A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), the Veretrop biochip operates on STMicroelectronics’ Lab-on-Chip platform which combines micromachined MEMS elements with microfluidics and integrated processing. The development was started in 2009 with ETPL, the technology transfer arm of A*STAR as before this, Veredus had licensed diagnostic technology from A*STAR in the areas of influenza and malaria. The team from SIgN has successfully validated the kit on patient samples in the external fields of Northern Thailand, at the Thai-Myanmar border.
“Tropical diseases often reflect common symptoms like fever, and may not be accurately diagnosed early by doctors," said Associate Professor Lisa F.P. Ng, lead virologist in the project from A*STAR. "This portable test kit is a rapid and reliable method to accurately test for multiple pathogenic targets from just one blood sample in a matter of hours.”
“Veredus and A*STAR have worked on several collaborative projects dating back to 2004,” said Dr. Rosemary Tan, CEO of Veredus Laboratories which is a Singapore-based, majority owned subsidiary of STMicroelectronics. “This latest project on VereTrop Lab-on-Chip has combined the strengths and expertise of A*STAR, Veredus, and STMicroelectronics to create a powerful multiplexed molecular product that can rapidly detect and differentiate symptomatically similar tropical infectious diseases and enable timely proper treatment.”
“After this journey of more than three years, we are glad that such a compelling technologically-advanced product with global healthcare benefits is ready to be launched to the market. Veredus is a good example of how local companies can work with A*STAR for a consistent stream of technology to develop products that can enhance their offerings and level them up to be competitive and relevant globally,” said Philip Lim, Chief Executive Officer of ETPL.
Veredus Laboratories was founded in 2003 and launched its first products in 2005.