This case study is based on an article published by WIPO found here.
Who: Dr. Min-Han Tan, Founder and CEO of Lucence, a precision oncology company.
Challenge: Cancer is the leading cause of death wordwide, responsible for nearly one in six deaths. While many cancers can be cured if detected early and treated effectively, accurate cancer detection can be difficult, painful and invasive.
Opportunity: Driven by a desire to alleviate the burden of cancer, oncologist Dr. Min-Han Tan developed a simple blood test with his company Lucence. This test profiles cancer accurately, rapidly and affordably with just one blood draw. The ultra-sensitive liquid biopsy enables early cancer detection, empowering physicians to make better treatment decisions and ultimately improving patient health outcomes.
Lucence's blood tests utilize groundbreaking technology to detect circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) fragments released by cancer cells into the bloodstream. Through advanced sequence analysis, this technology can predict the cancer's origin and anticipate tumor behavior—two crucial insights for developing precise treatment plans. Currently, the tests screen for 10 different cancers and are particularly useful for patients with difficult-to-biopsy cancers.
To develop and continue advancing this cancer-profiling technology, Lucence collaborates with stakeholders such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions. These partnerships are vital in ensuring that the product reaches a broad patient community and makes a tangible difference in their lives. The company aspires to deliver their DNA and RNA profiling technology globally, hoping to deliver the best possible care to the maximum number of patients. Eventually, Lucence aims to enhance the test to the point where it becomes a routine component of annual health check-ups, even for asymptomatic individuals.
As an innovative technology company, Lucence recognizes intellectual property (IP) as the cornerstone of its novel cancer detection approach. Robust IP rights play a crucial role in supporting the efforts necessary for Lucence and other health care companies to develop and deliver advanced innovations to patients. With proper protections and incentives, innovators like Lucence can provide their services and meet the needs of patients across the globe.
“As a deep technology company, IP is absolutely core to our existence.”
– Dr. Min-Han Tan