On Jul. 24, National Biotechnology Research Park (NBRP), a research-oriented biopark in Taiwan, signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Shonan Health Innovation Park (Shonan iPark) and AstraZeneca to promote a next-generation biomedical research ecosystem and accelerate the development of Taiwan’s biomedical industry in NBRP.
Led by Takeda, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Shonan iPark is an open-innovation ecosystem that promotes biopharmaceutical innovation and entrepreneurship by partnering with business ventures, hospitals, research institutes, and government agencies. AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical business developing innovative medicines used by millions of patients worldwide.
NBPR’s enhanced collaboration with Shonan iPark
Dr. Fu-Tong Liu, the former chair of the Joint Committee of NBRP and the vice president of Academia Sinca in Taiwan, pointed out that the MoU between NBRP and Shonan iPark will enhance organizational operations and activities, such as exchange of information about park operations, events to promote joint researches and funding, and thus contribute to the success of biopark tenants and achievement of the mission and vision of both parks.
The niche of NBRP includes precision and translational medicine research, therapeutic antibody development, comprehensive phenotyping, and drug safety and efficacy evaluation facility using mice and rat models. With the knowledge from Takeda, a global pharmaceutical company, Shonan iPark has not only cutting-edge R&D technologies and facilities but also rich management and entrepreneurial experience in translating discovery to new drug approval, especially in small-molecule drugs.
Dr. Liu expects that with the strengths and niche technologies of both parks, the R&D momentum will be boosted, the commercialization timeline of the tenants shortened and the return on investment (ROI) increased.
On his presentation at the Bio Asia-Taiwan Conference, Dr. Toshio Fujimoto, the general manager of Shonan iPark, said Shonan iPark has facilitated the alliance of the biomedical companies, VCs, government agencies, and research institutes.
He believes it has become a vibrant ecosystem that drives entrepreneurship and partnership, where forty-seven local and overseas companies and organizations with diverse technologies in drug discovery, pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, healthcare, and medical AI/robotics gather and operate. The collaboration with NBRP can further enhance the resources and increase the success rate of commercialization, technology transfer, and investments in both parks.
NBRP-AstraZeneca accelerator program
NBRP and AstraZeneca will combine their biomedical and startup expertise to offer mentorship to the participants of this joint biomedical acceleration program. Given AstraZeneca’s strengths in the research, development and commercialization of medicines for cancer, respiratory disease and cardio-renal-metabolic disease, the company will support Taiwanese teams that seek to develop and/or commercialize new medicines, medical devices or digital solutions to the aforemetioned diseases.
Dr. Han-Chung Wu, the interim CEO of BioHub Taiwan in NBRP, said during the program, experienced teachers will provide training sessions and a highly qualified AstraZeneca mentor will be assigned to each team according to its interests.
“AstraZeneca is proud to partner with the NBPR to support Taiwanese healthcare startup companies and R&D teams,” Dr. Justin Chin, the president of AstraZeneca’s Taiwan branch, said. “Taiwan has an exceptional expertise in both basic research and applied biomedical innovation, and we strongly believe that there is a great potential to develop healthcare solutions here that make a big difference to patients around the world.”