News Release

Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in Malaysia (Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report 2007-2011). A new liquid biopsy testing to monitor the progression of metastatic cases of colorectal cancer is now available at Pantai Premier Pathology, Malaysia.

The new liquid biopsy testing allows oncologists and surgeons to examine a ‘snapshot’ of the tumour in metastatic cases of colorectal cancer in real time by detecting a specific marker for colorectal cancer called RAS to predict the effectiveness of treatment thus far to the patients. This new method is conducted through a simple blood draw which is minimal invasive and less distressing for patients compared to the conventional method which requires patients to undergo surgery for tissue biopsy. Results are available within seven to 14 days, providing oncologists and surgeons with quicker treatment decisions crucial for therapy success.

“Liquid biopsy stands at the forefront of research in today’s cancer diagnosis. The detection of small amounts of cancer related DNA in a simple blood sample already today offers a minimal invasive alternative to traditional tissue biopsies. As sensitivity of liquid biopsy progresses, the technology will not only improve cancer treatment regimens, but also holds the promise to become a game changer in screening for early stage cancer in healthy individuals.” Said Mr Frank Buescher, President & CEO of Sysmex Asia Pacific.

“In keeping with our philosophy of patient focus, we strive to evaluate all aspects of the patient journey, to focus our efforts on projects that improve treatment experience and outcomes for the patients,” said Rehan Verjee, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Merck’s biopharma business. “The CE mark approval of the liquid biopsy RAS biomarker test is a pivotal milestone for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, as it allows for informed and rapid treatment decisions. We, with our partner Sysmex Inostics, can now start making this test available to more patients around the world.”

The new liquid biopsy testing is developed by Sysmex Inostics in collaboration with Merck and is exclusively available in Pantai Premier Pathology, Malaysia.

“We are honoured to be part of this collaboration. We understand the importance of personalized cancer therapy and are constantly looking for ways to help clinicians to diagnose their patients. We believe this non-invasive test is an ideal tool for an enhanced patient management in colorectal cancer. As the first in South East Asia to officiate this platform, we aim to be the referral centre in the management of colorectal cancer. It is one of the huge accomplishments for us for far in the diagnostic sphere of cancer cases,” said Hareeff Muhammed, CEO of Pantai Premier Pathology.


Pantai Premier Pathology

Pantai Premier Pathology provides a diverse range of quality diagnostic and analytical laboratory testing services to medical practitioners. Referrals are received from a broad base of general practitioners and specialists from medical clinics, medical centers and large tertiary hospitals in Malaysia. Pantai Premier Pathology is an independent provider of medical laboratory services that has the added capacity to cater to specialized and critical medical diagnoses that are generally required within the hospital environment and in emergencies. Pantai Premier Pathology has 20 laboratories and three satellite laboratories in the Klang Valley, Penang, Ipoh, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kedah, Kelantan and Sabah, with more than 15 million tests being performed each year. Our mission is to continually improve our services to meet current and future healthcare needs. Our commitment to keep abreast with the latest technology reflected in the ever-expanding comprehensive range of pathological tests being offered. Pantai Premier Pathology is part of Parkway Pantai, Asia’s largest integrated private healthcare group.

Sysmex Inostics

Sysmex Inostics, a subsidiary of Sysmex Corporation, is a molecular diagnostic company whose core competency is mutation detection in blood through highly sensitive molecular methods BEAMing. Its OncoBEAM™ assays detect gene mutations in cancer allowing for more targeted therapies and monitoring of disease response and recurrence to identify clinically actionable tumor specific somatic mutations in blood samples. Sysmex Inostics is a trusted partner to leading pharmaceutical companies, advancing their efforts to bring the most effective personalized cancer therapies to global markets. Sysmex Inostics companion diagnostics (CDx) team offers services for the development of non-invasive cell-free DNA-based IVD tests supported by a growing network of partners to cover the entire IVD development process. Sysmex Corporation is a world leader in clinical laboratory systemization and solutions, including laboratory diagnostics, laboratory automation and clinical information systems. Serving customers for more than 40 years, Sysmex focuses on technological leadership in diagnostic science and information tools that make a difference in the health of people worldwide. Sysmex Corporation is listed in the top tier of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company, and is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Operating in 66 countries, around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smart phones and LCD televisions. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.


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