‘Hong Kong as a Biotech Hub’ – Bio International Convention
‘Hong Kong as a Biotech Hub’ reverberated at San Diego’s 2014 Bio International Convention.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) led a delegation of local pharmaceutical companies and universities to take part in the 2014 Bio International Convention in San Diego, the world’s largest annual gathering attended by over 15,000 professionals from the biotechnology industry. The unique strength of Hong Kong’s R&D infrastructure that facilitates instant take-off of advance biotech innovation projects and the capacity to provide life science pioneers with convenient access to the largest market in the East, have aroused overwhelming reverberations among industry leaders and entrepreneurs at the Convention.
Hong Kong’s Three Unrivalled Edges for Biotech Development
At today’s welcome reception hosted by the Hong Kong Pavilion, Mrs Fanny Law, Board Member and Chairperson designate of HKSTPC highlighted the three unparalleled advantages Hong Kong has for the biotech industry, namely the availability of internationally recognised drug testing and approval facility, the presence of a strong pool of acclaimed academia and research experts in the life science field and the provision of superb infrastructures required to see ideas from conception to commercialisation.
“Hong Kong’s strong brand as an international financial centre may have over-shadowed its strengths in science and technology. The reality is: we have all the ingredients to be a biotech hub and a launch pad for those who want to tap into the world’s fastest-growing healthcare market, China.” Mrs Law accentuated.
Accredited Support for Drug Certification Shortens the Time into the Mainland Market
Professional assistance to get through the long and complex testing and approval process for new medicines development is readily available in Hong Kong. The city has two accredited Clinical Trial Centers respectively housed in two world-class university hospitals, each with an excellent track record where clinical trials data is recognised and accepted for drug registration in China, the US and EMEA countries. “We keep going the extra mile to assist our scientists to fulfill their mission. Just recently, Hong Kong is exploring a collaborative approach with China Food and Drug Administration to establish new additional venues for investigational new drug (IND) approval. We expect to see the time for Phase I clinical trial for pharmaceutical companies based in Hong Kong be greatly shortened in future upon completion of such discussion.” Mrs Law added.
World-class Talents Expedite R&D breakthrough
Talent supply is another crucial factor for technological breakthroughs and business success, which Mrs Law highlighted as the second strength of our city. Biotech companies coming to Hong Kong will find themselves land on a fertile ground conducive to breakthroughs, as the city boasts a strong pool of world-acclaimed biotech academia and professional workforce who have long been spearheading advance biotech research in areas such as Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Molecular Neuroscience, Liver Diseases with Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Many of these professors have already made ground-breaking discoveries that have been translated into clinical use.
Hong Kong Science Park Provides One-stop Support to Commercialise R&D Achievements
Being the most competitive city in China, Hong Kong provides excellent commercialisation services including legal, IP protection, financing, telecommunications and marketing. Biotech research firms partnering with Hong Kong Science Park will benefit further from the Park’s state-of-the-art lab services, comprehensive incubation scheme and the Park’s many strategic collaborations with the central government. For example, the Park has secured a “Green Channel” enabling biological research samples to be transferred between Guangzhou Development District in the Pearl River Delta and the Park’s labs via simplified procedures.
With continuous effort, Hong Kong Science Park is now home to about 50 local and overseas biotechnology companies. Entrepreneurs from this growing cluster can enjoy all-round supporting services the Park offers, enabling them to develop innovative solutions and devices that will benefit the society. Their inventions cover all aspects of our daily life, from treatment for eye diseases and cancer, to biosensors for monitoring diabetics’ glucose level and robotic limbs to facilitate rehabilitation of stroke patients.
The delegation led by the HKSTPC made fruitful exchanges with academia specialists, emerging entrepreneurs and industry incumbents from around the world at the Convention. The pharmaceutical companies from Science Park and Yuen Long Industrial Estate showcased their latest ‘made in Hong Kong’ achievements in antibiotics and drug manufacturing such as powder intradermal injection system, while the Hong Kong academia showcased the exciting data from their latest applied research on neurodegenerative disease, anticancer drug, and personalised neutral stem cell technologies, further affirming Hong Kong’s capability as a fertile hub for biotech research and development, as well as a partner of choice for commercialisation and value creation.