StratifiCare™ Pte Ltd, an innovative medical diagnostic solutions company based in Singapore, has secured close to S$1 million in an oversubscribed Seed round from prominent investors including Asian Development Bank (ADB) Ventures, Sprout, PatSnap CEO Jeffrey Tiong, and Carousell CEO Quek Siu Rui. The funds will mainly go towards setting up pilot production facilities and supporting clinical trials for StratifiDen™ in Dengue-impacted countries in Asia.
StratifiDen is the world’s first severe Dengue prediction test in advanced development at StratifiCare, aimed at helping doctors decide which Dengue patients are at risk of developing severe disease complications (such as severe internal bleeding) and require hospitalization. More than half of the world’s population is at risk of Dengue infection. A joint study in 2019 by 4 American universities predicted that by 2080, 1 billion more people in the temperate regions will be put at risk of Dengue infection due to global warming, increased urbanization and the geographical expansion of mosquitoes. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that currently, 390 million people around the world are infected with Dengue every year.
“Dengue is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the world, with more than 2.7 billion people in Asia estimated at risk. We are excited about partnering with StratifiCare and them in developing their severe Dengue prediction test. This could have a very significant impact on the way Dengue treatment is managed in Asia and beyond", says Yichu Zhang, Investment Associate, ADB Ventures.
Claire Wong, Head of DBS Foundation, DBS Bank, said “We firmly believe that companies can and should play a key role in enacting positive impact in society, and StratifiCare serves as a prime example of this. Dengue continues to afflict many communities worldwide, and with healthcare systems already challenged by the fight against Covid-19, StratifiCare’s objective of enabling more effective diagnosis and allocation of healthcare resources to alleviate the pressure on hospitals is even more crucial. We’re heartened by how much they have progressed since being awarded the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize, and are excited for their next chapter.”
StratifiCare beat over 780 applicants to emerge as the winner of the inaugural DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize last year, which sought to spur on aspiring upstarts in the social innovation and entrepreneurship scene. StratifiCare creates a diversified portfolio of novel predictive IVD solutions, each with the potential to reduce hospital (re)admissions, reduce the use of ineffective therapies and/or improve patient outcomes, thereby powering personalized medicine into a new era.
StratifiDen is a blood test that is performed after the patient is diagnosed positive for Dengue. By measuring the concentrations of certain proteins in the patient’s blood, it can accurately predict whether the patient will go on to develop severe Dengue complications, and thus requires hospitalization. Currently, more than 60% of Dengue patients are hospitalized, but only less than 5% develops severe complications and truly requires hospitalization. By providing a more accurate means of predicting severe Dengue, StratifiDen helps ensure the availability of hospital beds for severe Dengue patients during large outbreaks, while at the same time, reduce the financial burden of unnecessary hospitalization of Dengue patients and their families. Based on statistics from a health economics study by the University of Washington, adoption of StratifiDen™ will bring about US$7.6 billion of direct medical cost savings to Dengue-affected developing countries around the world every year. StratifiCare is working with clinical partners to test out StratifiDen™ in the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam to pave way for its adoption. Capitalizing on the in-depth knowledge and infrastructure built in the development of predictive medical diagnostics during the development of StratifiDen, StratifiCare has expanded its pipeline portfolio to include cancer medical diagnostic tests.
"StratifiDen™ ensures that scarce hospital resources are reserved for severe Dengue patients during large Dengue outbreaks. It will no longer be on a first-come-first-serve basis where hospital beds may run out, and severe Dengue patients who turn up at the hospital later may not be provided with the life-saving hospital care they urgently require," said StratifiCare Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Dr Anthony Chua.
Infectious disease experts around the world are postulating that a COVID-19/Dengue double pandemic or syndemic is currently underway. StratifiDen™ is critical in ensuring that finite healthcare resources are best utilized, and reach those who need them the most, for both COVID-19 and Dengue patients alike.