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Trendlines, National Healthcare Group to develop solutions for unmet clinical needs

The Business Times by Jacquelyn Cheok
CATALIST-LISTED medical technology (medtech) incubator The Trendlines Group has inked its first partnership with a local healthcare group to build a pipeline of medtech startups and solutions for the global market.

Trendlines on Thursday announced a MOU (memorandum of understanding) with National Healthcare Group (NHG) to co-develop healthcare solutions for unmet clinical needs - its first collaboration with a healthcare institution in Singapore.

Under the MOU, NHG will identify key problem statements and unmet clinical needs while Trendlines Singapore and its affiliated companies will develop solutions to address these needs. Both parties will jointly refine the development of these solutions through clinical validation within NHG's clinical infrastructure.

Trendlines said: "It is envisaged that startup companies may be established in Singapore and incubated by Trendlines Singapore to develop the solutions into commercial products for the global market."

Trendlines Singapore, launched in February, is the Singapore-based medtech incubator arm of Trendlines, the Israel-based group that invests in and nurtures startups in medical and agricultural technology.

Eric Loh, Trendlines Singapore's chief executive, told reporters that the new startups could tap existing solutions developed by Trendlines' portfolio companies and repurpose them to solve the targeted problems.

Already, NHG and Trendlines Singapore have identified three areas of collaboration: to improve the condition of inpatients with fragile skin; to improve the monitoring of vital signs; and to improve methods for the safe delivery of nutrition to patients.

Todd Dollinger, chief executive and chairman of Trendlines, said that "work has already begun" and an announcement on one of the projects will be made soon.

"We are confident that combining our expertise with the strong clinical standing of the hospitals and physicians of NHG, we will see successful companies and medical solutions developed, not just to address the local market, but also the global landscape facing similar medical concerns."

Thomas Lew, director of the Centre for Medical Technologies and Innovations at NHG, added that the new solutions must be affordable and accessible so as to build a "sustainable healthcare system".

When asked about future collaborations, Mr Loh said that Trendlines Singapore would not rule out partnerships with other healthcare groups or institutes of higher learning.

As a startup incubator, Trendlines derives returns on its investments in two ways: an exit by any of its portfolio companies (be it through a public listing or trade sale); or the commercialisation of products developed by its portfolio companies.

On Thursday, Trendlines added 3.97 per cent or 0.6 Singapore cents to close trading at S$0.157.