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New NUS spin-off company BioLynx boosts malaria research

13 October 2011

Dr Lear (left) and Dr Tan who developed LynxTag–CQTM, a useful tool for malaria research

NUS has spun off a new biotech company, BioLynx Technologies Pte Ltd, which provides high quality, multi-functional, fluorescent-tagged drugs. The company is currently focusing on further developing and commercialising its flagship product, LynxTag–CQTM, a useful tool for research on malaria.

Co-founded and directed by Dr Martin Lear of the Department of Chemistry and Dr Kevin Tan from the Department of Microbiology, BioLynx is launching its presence at TechVenture 2011 (13-14 October), Asia’s premier event for the finance community to engage with the latest high technological innovations.

As part of an NUS research project, the researchers successfully tagged a fluorescent marker to chloroquine, a drug that has been used in the treatment of malaria since 1947. The fluorescent-labelled chloroquine molecule, LynxTag-CQTM, allows researchers to visualise intracellular drug-cell interactions in an easy and cost-effective manner. Currently the only chloroquine-based fluorescent probe in the market, LynxTag-CQTM proves to be a useful tool for malaria studies into chloroquine resistance, drug uptake, mechanism of drug action, or chemo-sensitisation. The use of LynxTag-CQTM has been featured twice in the prestigious journal Cell Death & Disease.

Dr Kevin Tan said that besides malaria research, LynxTag-CQTM can also used to study mechanisms of other diseases at a cellular level. “For example, chloroquine is also used in treating immune diseases, cancer and some viral infections. Moving forward, we plan to go beyond just chloroquine, to have a pipeline of products, synthesising chemical tags for other high value drugs,” noted Dr Tan.

Dr Martin Lear shared that some S$1 million had been raised to commercialise the technology and bring it to market. He hopes to excite some venture capitalist companies present at TechVenture 2011 to invest in BioLynx, so as to grow the company and boost international marketing of its product.

For more information on BioLynx, please visit