Local firm cashing in on laboratory diagnostic services (Update)

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014

Local molecular diagnostic laboratory, DNA Laboratories Sdn Bhd, hopes to leverage on the growth of the healthcare industry here to expand its reach in the local market.

DNA Lab chief technical officer Dr Wong Yong Wee said the company was looking to strengthen its network with private healthcare providers to raise awareness on its products in the obstetrics and gynaecology segment.

DNA Lab provides diagnostic services to healthcare companies.

“We definitely want to grow from just an SME into a bigger corporation. And we have strong products that serve as a good platform for us to grow in the industry,” Dr Wong said.

He noted the company’s recent efforts had reflected positively in its strong double-digit annual growth compared with a low double-digit growth previously.

The company was first established in 2007 to focus on chromosome checks after Dr Wong, who had just returned from a research stint in Europe, discovered that the local market was lacking in such laboratory services.

According to Dr Wong, healthcare companies used to send their specimens overseas for lab testing and it would take two weeks for the results to come back.

“Molecular testing was already very popular in Europe. So, when I returned home I was quite shock to find out that there was no such services locally. I realised there could be a big market here to tap into,” he explained.

He added that it was a matter of localising a high-end technology to meet local needs in the molecular testing industry.

Dr Wong said some RM3.5mil was invested in the company in its first three years.

But despite the vast potential in Malaysia, he acknowledged that challenges were aplenty.

Given that it is a relatively new field in Malaysia, he noted there was a need for extensive education both to healthcare providers as well as to end consumers.

Additionally, there are limited skilled personnel in the field, making it difficult to expand. DNA Lab has 40 staff members currently.

Nonetheless, Dr Wong is positive about DNA Lab’s prospects and is eyeing regional opportunities as well.

“We already started a joint venture with a Jakarta-based pharmaceutical company. We are basically applying the same business model there, focusing on servicing healthcare companies.

“We are also looking at going into Vietnam and the Philippines markets in the future.

“No doubt, there are challenges in overseas market such as different policies and cultures, I think there are opportunities in this region and we want to explore them,” he said.

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