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NUS start-up wins Asian Entrepreneurship Award

18 May 2012

Founders of Clearbridge BioMedics (from left) Dr Wu, Mr Johnson Chen (Managing Director) and Prof Lim Chwee Teck with the Asian Entrepreneurship Award

An NUS engineering spin-off has won the First Prize of the 2012 Asian Entrepreneurship Award, which was held from 9 to 11 May in Kashiwanoha, Japan.

Clearbridge BioMedics beat 17 start-up companies from 12 Asian countries that presented their business plans at the inaugural business competition to secure the prize money of 3 million yen. It also enjoys three years of free tenancy at the Tokatsu Techno Plaza in Chiba Prefecture.

Most of the competing firms came from business incubators or are University spin-offs. The judging panel comprising entrepreneurial experts from around Asia looked for innovativeness and the companies' economic and social impact, as well as the business implementation strategies.

The judges were won over by Clearbridge BioMedic's ClearCell™ System, a diagnostic kit that can isolate and retrieve intact and viable circulating tumour cells from blood. The device uses patent-pending CTChip® to detect cancer cells in small quantity of blood samples and stain them for identification and enumeration.

Dr Andrew Wu, the start-up's Project Director, said: "Japan is a very important market for us; winning this award will be a launch pad for us to bring the technology there."

Clearbridge BioMedics intends to use the prize money in the development of its next-generation microfluidics biochips. The team members will be exploring a wider number of applications in the life sciences and medical diagnostic fields.

Asian Entrepreneurship Award seeks to provide an opportunity to bring together young entrepreneurs from across Asia to Japan where they can engage with each other and introduce their innovative technologies to the world.