Nasdaq-listed oncology firm sets up regional HQ in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Nasdaq-listed precision oncology firm Guardant Health has announced the launch of its Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) regional headquarters in Singapore.

Guardant Health helps medical professionals decide which therapy may be effective for advanced stage cancer patients with solid tumours. It does so through liquid biopsy tests for comprehensive genomic profiling and big data analytics. A liquid biopsy is a test done on a sample of blood to look for cancer cells.

"Today, about half - or nine million - of the world's incidences of cancer and more than half of cancer mortality occur in Asia, and this looks to increase dramatically by 2040. This presents not only a vast market opportunity but an urgent unmet medical need that needs to be addressed," said Simranjit Singh, chief executive officer of Guardant Health AMEA.

"Specifically, we believe our breakthrough liquid biopsy tests, such as Guardant360, will be able to bring about better treatment selection for advanced lung, breast, gastric and colorectal cancers, which have particularly high prevalence rates in Asia."

The firm's flagship product, Guardant360, was first introduced in 2014; and has been ordered more than 70,000 times, according to Guardant Health.

It has been reviewed by more than 80 peer-reviewed publications - which address its analytical validity, clinical validity and clinical utility in multiple tumour types - and used by over 40 biopharma companies.

Guardant Health AMEA is currently offering Guardant360 to clinical customers; and has already established distributorships in key markets including South-east Asia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, New Zealand, the Middle East and Israel.

The Guardant360 assay received breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year. FDA approval, if obtained, is expected to accelerate commercial adoption of the test internationally.

Clinical studies are also underway to generate relevant data specific to an Asian patient population. The company is collaborating with the National Cancer East Network (NCCE) SCRUM Japan in two nationwide genomic screening networks, using Guardant360 to match patients to approved or experimental therapies in clinical trials.

Guardant Health AMEA has also recently published the first cohort study data on Chinese patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer that received a comprehensive liquid biopsy test.

The firm will be presenting Guardant360 data specific to an Asian cancer patient population at ESMO Asia, a conference for oncology professionals.

It has also established an office in Japan; and its growing team comprises expertise in medical affairs, regulatory affairs, business development, bioinformatics, lab operations and sales.