Research at INEX

With the support of professors, scientists and PhDs, INEX works closely with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to pioneer, develop and discover new technologies in the areas of women’s and prenatal health, leading to intellectual property ownership in these areas.

INEX has extensive expertise in translating research into molecular diagnostics, and adopting pioneering health care innovations into clinical practice.

OvaCis™, FlashFISH™ and Fetal Cells in Maternal Blood technologies have been researched and developed at the National University of Singapore Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research Facility, and are fully licensed to INEX.

In the case of OvaCis™ and Fetal Cells in Maternal Blood technologies, the entire process – from technology ideation, research, trial, design and commercialisation – has been a collaboration between INEX and the NUS laboratory.

Over the past years, NUS and INEX have jointly been granted patents from the United States, Asia, and 27 countries in the EU. Their diagnostic biomolecule is a patent relating to the measurement of haptoglobin levels in ovarian cysts, to detect the presence of ovarian cancer.

The patent complements its existing portfolio by NUS-INEX for FlashFISH™, a method that enables same day prenatal diagnosis.


FlashFISH™ is an innovative technology that enables patients to receive results of their amniocentesis test on the same day.

FlashFISH™ systematically addresses the turn-around time for pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis. Prior to this breakthrough, the waiting time for amniocentesis results can be as long as three weeks, using conventional chromosome analysis (Karyotyping), or FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation) technology.

FlashFISH™ can deliver results on the same day of testing, greatly reducing the stress and anxiety that patients can experience from long waiting times.


  1. FlashFISH™: Same day prenatal diagnosis. S Ho, L Gole, M Choolani, South African Society of Obstetrician & Gynaecologists Congress 2012.
 6–10 May 2012. Champagne Sports Resort, Drakensberg South Africa. Oral presentation.
  2. Development of a rapid aneuploidy detection assay for prenatal diagnosis using FISH based microfluidics. Ho SSY, Chua CW, Gole L, Biswas A, Choolani M, Koay ESC.Human Genomics Meeting, 11–14 March 2012, Sydney,
  3. Same-day prenatal diagnosis of common fetal chromosomal abnormalities- FlashFISH™. Ho SSY, Baig S, Koay E, Gole L, Poonusamy S, Su LL, Rauff M, Razvi K, Biswas A, Choolani M. ISUOG Obstetrics Ultrasound Outreach Course with COGS Scientific Congress 2008. Suntec City Convention Center. 10–13 November 2008.


Researchers and Scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) developed OvaCis™ – an innovative, intra-operative assay for detecting ovarian cancer. They found that measuring the haptoglobin levels in ovarian cysts could accurately predict whether the cyst was benign or malignant.

As a result, haptoglobin as a biomarker for ovarian cancer is now a global patent held jointly by INEX and the National University of Singapore.


  1. Haptoglobin proved to be a novel biomarker for intra-operative triage of epithelial ovarian cancer at early stage. L Liu,C Zhao, N Kothandaraman, A Biwas, M Choolani. American Association for Cancer Research. Washington DC, 17-21 April 2010.
  2. Maldi-Tof mass spectrometry-based peptidomic profiling of ovarian cyst fluid in search for biomarker patterns for ovarian cancer. Liu L, Ayhan M, Chua SE, Koh S, Kothandaraman N, Rice G, Choolani M. ISUOG Obstetrics Ultrasound Outreach Course with COGS Scientific Congress 2008. Suntec City Convention Centre, 10–13 November 2008.

INEX and NUS are currently working on new technologies in the areas of Fetal Nucleated Red Blood Cells, and this is set to be a game changer in the field of prenatal diagnosis.