SINGAPORE (Feb 12): Dr Tan Min-Han refers to himself as the less cool, older brother of Tan Min-Liang. The latter co-founded gaming company Razer, which listed in Hong Kong last November and now has a market capitalisation in excess of HK$28 billion ($4.75 billion).

But the older Tan is building something interesting in its own right. His start-up, Lucence Diagnostics, runs cancer-detection tests using liquid biopsies, which screen for fragments of DNA discarded by cancer cells into the bloodstream. This allows physicians to identify the type of cancer mutation and determine the best drugs for it. The test also lets doctors monitor a patient’s response to treatment and gauge the odds of a relapse, paving the way for precision care for cancer patients.

“We provide targeted tests that help our physicians make judgments to influence their patients today,” says Tan, who is founder and CEO of Lucence. He refers to the discarded cancer cells as “sewage”, and explains that “the more you go through, the more likely you will find fragments that suggest the [condition of the patient].”

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