Ark’s mission is to create a world free from the pain and suffering caused by late-stage cancer. We will do this by giving patients access to early cancer detection solutions that are accurate, affordable, and actionable.

Ark’s Story

Ark is an end-to-end solution provider focused on early cancer detection. We are harnessing advanced data science and our proprietary microRNA detection technology to develop accurate and cost-effective blood tests that can detect cancer at an early stage, when patients have the best chances of survival with timely treatment.

Ark was founded in early 2018 through the merger of MiRXES, a privately-held life sciences company, and Venturecraft, Southeast Asia’s leading venture capital firm focused on MedTech, BioTech, and Digital Health. MiRXES, founded in 2014, is a pioneer in microRNA detection technologies and diagnostics. MiRXES Lab, now the research and development (R&D) arm of Ark, continues to be a leader in developing microRNA-based diagnostics.

Ark is spearheading a 50,000-patient clinical study, the largest study of its kind, to validate our microRNA cancer diagnostic tests. Ark’s microRNA detection technology has been adopted and validated globally by top academic and commercial research entities. Ark has its headquarters in Singapore, with R&D, manufacturing, and clinical diagnostic laboratory operations in China and USA.

Leadership

Zhou Lihan, co-Founder & CEO

Zhou Lihan

co-Founder & CEO

Lihan is a co-founder of MiRXES, a Singapore biotech company started up in 2014 to develop microRNA technologies and cancer detection tests. Lihan served as CEO of MiRXES and oversaw MiRXES’ operations in Singapore and China. As CEO, he led MiRXES in establishing collaborations with leading clinical consortia and pharmaceutical companies to develop microRNA-based diagnostic assays for cancer and other diseases.

Lihan was recently recognized as one of the most promising innovators in the world under the age of 35 by the MIT Technology Review in their Innovators Under 35 list. MIRXES, headed by Lihan, was recognized by the Emerging Enterprise Award as Singapore’s Most Promising Startup in 2016.

Prior to founding MiRXES, Lihan was a research scientist at the A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) where he co-developed a novel microRNA detection technology platform and an integrated workflow for biomarker discovery which now form the technological core of Ark and MiRXES Lab. Lihan has a PhD in Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore and has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and 8 patent applications.

Isaac Ho, co-Founder & COO

Isaac Ho

co-Founder & COO

Isaac is a proven veteran in entrepreneurship, investment, and business management, having founded Singapore Health, a medical health care services provider, and subsequently Venturecraft Group. Under his leadership, Venturecraft Group was appointed an accelerator under SPRING Singapore’s Sector Specific Accelerator Programme for Biomedical Sciences.

Isaac is a passionate communicator and marketeer. Most notably, Isaac has developed a strong and extensive China distribution network with private and government agencies and has assisted many Singaporean and global companies in navigating China’s market. Isaac graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (Marketing and Management).

Zou Ruiyang, co-Founder & CTO

Zou Ruiyang

co-Founder & CTO

Ruiyang is primarily credited for Ark’s core microRNA technology and know-how. He oversees all of Ark’s global research and diagnostic test development activities. Ruiyang is a co-founder of MiRXES and was Head of Bioinformatics at A*STAR’s microRNA Signature Identification Center. He is an author on more than 10 peer-reviewed publications and 8 patent applications.

Ruiyang has a PhD in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering from the Singapore-MIT Alliance, an educational and research collaboration between the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ruiyang has Bachelor’s degrees in Engineering and Science from Nankai University and Tianjin University, respectively.

Cheng He, AVP, Research & Development

Cheng He

AVP, Research & Development

Cheng He heads Ark’s research and development (R&D) activities through Ark’s R&D arm, MiRXES Lab. Cheng He leads Ark’s efforts in the discovery of new microRNA biomarkers from various biological samples and in the development of microRNA-based liquid biopsy products for disease detection. Cheng He is driven by his desire to overcome key healthcare challenges using innovative technologies. He has a multi-disciplinary background and has applied his experience to developing nanowire sensors and mRNA clinical assays for cancer prognosis. Cheng He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from National University of Singapore (NUS), a Master’s degree in Material Science from MIT, and a Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering from Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Jeremiah Decosta, AVP, Singapore Manufacturing Operation

Jeremiah Decosta

AVP, Singapore Manufacturing Operation

Jeremiah oversees production, supply chain, and quality control for Ark’s Singapore operation. Having held Production Director and Head of Operations positions at both MNCs and start-ups, Jeremiah has rich experience in quality assurance, scale-up manufacturing operations, and technology transfer across multiple product lines within the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) medical device industry. Jeremiah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Bradford, UK.

Zhou Qiumei, AVP, China Manufacturing Operation

Zhou Qiumei

AVP, China Manufacturing Operation

Qiumei oversees Ark’s manufacturing operations in China. With more than 10 years of experience in R&D, production, and quality management in the biomedical industry, Qiumei is a veteran in pursuing ISO13485, CE, and cFDA quality and regulatory frameworks for medical devices. Qiumei has a Masters degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Tu Jing, AVP, Commercial Operations

Tu Jing

AVP, Commercial Operations

Tu Jing is responsible for commercial operations. Tu Jing is a veteran in the Medtech and pharmaceuticals industries with over 20 years of experience. She has held key positions directing marketing strategy and plans in several publicly-listed companies including nation-wide General Manager, Marketing Director, and Sales Director.  

Claire Liu, AVP, Digital Marketing

Claire Liu

AVP, Digital Marketing

Claire is responsible for Ark’s digital marketing efforts. Prior to joining Ark, Claire oversaw user system operations in Alibaba, 58 City and Dangdang, leading teams in building business ecosystems and meeting companies’ desired performance targets. She once worked at the Beijing TV Station as Director of the Life Channel, focusing on medical health. She has an Executive MBA from the University of Texas.

Ma Tao, AVP, Corporate Affairs

Ma Tao

AVP, Corporate Affairs

Ma Tao has more than ten years of experience in sales and marketing and has managed top-performing teams at multinational medical device companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific. He was a co-founder of a start-up focused on detecting circulating tumor cells (CTCs) where he helped researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to bring their product through the key phases of prototyping, manufacturing site setup, registration, and finally to launch the product. Ma Tao has an MBA from the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, and received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the same university.

Ethan Zhai, Senior Director of People

Ethan Zhai

Senior Director of People

Ethan is responsible for Ark’s human resources. Ethan has 13 years of experience in human resources, having worked for Tianjin Foreign Enterprises & Experts Service (TJ-FESCO), IT services provider CTG Group, and served as the General Manager and Business Director at the branch of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city. He has provided human resource services for major corporations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), OTIS Elevator, and Internet services company Sohu.

Board of Directors

Too Heng-Phon, Chairman

Professor Too Heng-Phon

Chairman

Prof. Too Heng-Phon is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore. He is also a Principal Scientist in the A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute. Prof. Too received his undergraduate training in Biochemistry at Imperial College of Science & Technology, UK and continued with his PhD training in a joint research project in Imperial College, Institute of Ophthalmology and West Minister Hospital, London.

His laboratory was funded by Roche Diagnostics (USA & Asia Pacific) and National Institute of Health (USA) to develop qPCR assays for infectious diseases. He is an awardee of a number of Commercialization of Technology grants from A*STAR and Singapore-Massachusetts Research & Technology (SMART). He has intellectual property protections on specific diagnostic platforms with various departments and with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is collaborating with a number of clinical groups locally and globally on discovery and development of microRNA biomarkers.

Prof. Too Heng-Phon is a co-founder

Professor Too Heng-Phon received his undergraduate training in Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science & Technology, UK. He then continued with his PhD training in a joint research project in Imperial College, Institute of Ophthalmology and West Minister Hospital, London. Currently, he is a faculty in the Department of Biochemistry, National University Singapore, a Principal Scientist in the Bioprocess Technological Institute. His laboratory was funded by Roche Diagnostics (USA & Asia Pacific) and National Institute of Health (USA) to develop qPCR assays for infectious diseases. He is an awardee of a number of Commercialization of Technology grants from A*STAR and Singapore-Massachusetts Research & Technology (SMART). He has intellectual property protections on specific diagnostic platforms with various departments and with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is collaborating with a number of clinical groups locally and globally on discovery and development of microRNA biomarkers.

Isaac Ho

Isaac Ho

co-Founder & COO

Isaac is a proven veteran in entrepreneurship, investment, and business management, having founded Singapore Health, a medical health care services provider, and subsequently Venturecraft Group. Under his leadership, Venturecraft Group was appointed an accelerator under SPRING Singapore’s Sector Specific Accelerator Programme for Biomedical Sciences.

Isaac is a passionate communicator and marketeer. Most notably, Isaac has developed a strong and extensive China distribution network with private and government agencies and has assisted many Singaporean and global companies in navigating China’s market. Isaac graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (Marketing and Management).

Zhou Lihan

Zhou Lihan

co-Founder & CEO

Lihan is a co-founder of MiRXES, a Singapore biotech company started up in 2014 to develop microRNA technologies and cancer detection tests. Lihan served as CEO of MiRXES and oversaw MiRXES’ operations in Singapore and China. As CEO, he led MiRXES in establishing collaborations with leading clinical consortia and pharmaceutical companies to develop microRNA-based diagnostic assays for cancer and other diseases.

Lihan was recently recognized as one of the most promising innovators in the world under the age of 35 by the MIT Technology Review in their Innovators Under 35 list. MIRXES, headed by Lihan, was recognized by the Emerging Enterprise Award as Singapore’s Most Promising Startup in 2016.

Prior to MiRXES, Lihan was a research scientist at the A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) where he co-developed a novel microRNA detection technology platform and an integrated workflow for biomarker discovery which now form the technological core of Ark and MiRXES Lab. Lihan has a PhD in Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore and has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and 8 patent applications.

Zou Ruiyang

Zou Ruiyang

co-Founder & CTO

Ruiyang is primarily credited for Ark’s core microRNA technology and know-how. He oversees the diagnostic test development and Ark’s global research and development. Prior to Ark, Ruiyang is one of the co-founders of MiRXES, and was the Head of Bioinformatics at A*STAR’s MicroRNA Signature Identification Center. He co-authored more than ten publications and has eight patents and applications.

Ruiyang has a PhD in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering from the Singapore-MIT Alliance, which is an engineering and life science educational and research collaboration the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ruiyang also has Bachelors in Engineering and another in Science from Nankai University and Tianjin University, respectively.

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Yeoh Khay Guan

Prof. Yeoh Khay Guan

Dean, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

A gastroenterologist by training, Assoc Prof Yeoh Khay Guan (MBBS, MMed, FRCP) is Deputy Chief Executive of the National University Health System (NUHS) as well as Dean of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He is also a Senior Consultant with the Department of Gastroenterology, National University Hospital (NUH). Prof Yeoh’s research interest is in early detection of gastric and colorectal cancers. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals. He is the Lead Principal Investigator of the Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium, a national flagship research group, and he is the chairman of the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Committee of the Health Promotion Board.

Prof. Frank Slack

Prof. Frank Slack

Director, Institute for RNA Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Frank Slack is the Shields Warren Mallinckrodt Professor, Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Institute for RNA Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. He received his BSc degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa before completing his PhD in molecular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He began work on microRNAs as a postdoctoral fellow in Gary Ruvkun’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School, where he co-discovered the second known microRNA, let-7. The Slack laboratory is at the forefront of the small RNA revolution. They co-discovered the first human microRNA, let-7 and showed that it is a tumor suppressor that controls key cancer genes. Their research also extends to discovery of additional novel small RNAs in development, cancer, aging and diabetes as well as identifying novel SNPs in the non-coding portions of the genome with an eye to identifying the next generation of actionable targets in cancer.

Dr. Alex Matter

Dr. Alex Matter

CEO, A*STAR Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC)

Dr. Alex Matter has been CEO of the Experimental Therapeutics Centre since April 2009 and since January 2012 CEO of the newly created D3 platform, A*STAR, Singapore. Previously, he had spent five and a half years as Director of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD), from October 2003 to February 2009. Prior to this role, Dr. Matter was Global Head of Oncology Research for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He played an important role in the success of several anticancer drugs. He has published more than 100 scientific articles and several book chapters in the area of oncology and haematology.

He is emeritus Professor of the Medical Faculty of the University Basel and an Honorary Adjunct Professor of the Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Dr. Matter is the recipient of the Life-time Achievement Award from IBC Life Sciences, the 13th Warren-Alpert prize and the AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award. Recently he was awarded the 2013 Szent-Györgyi Prize from the US National Foundation for Cancer Research.

Prof. Lam Kong Peng

Prof. Lam Kong Peng

Executive Director, A*STAR Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI)

Prof. Lam Kong Peng, an immunologist by training, is the Executive Director of A*STAR’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI). He is also Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) School of Biological Sciences.  Prof. Lam is also Vice-President of the Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) and Vice-President of the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Organisation (A-IMBN).

Prof. Tan Soo Yong

Prof. Tan Soo Yong

Head of Pathology, National University Hospital

A/Prof Tan Soo Yong obtained his medical qualifications from the National University of Singapore and thereafter underwent postgraduate training in Forensic Pathology and Histopathology in Singapore and in the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. Qualifying in both forensic and histopathology, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) and a Diplomate of the Society of Apothecaries of London. Prof Tan obtained his PhD from Oxford University, working in the field of haematopathology. He holds multiple concurrent appointments including Senior Consultant at the Ministry of Health Singapore, Visiting Consultant at the National Skin Centre and National Cancer Centre Singapore, Head of the Advanced Molecular Pathology Laboratory (AMPL), and Senior Principal Investigator at the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology (IMCB).

Our Partners

Clinical Research Partners

Government Agencies