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ACCELERATING IVD INNOVATIONS
The increasingly ageing population, need for rapid diagnostic results, emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases, and growing lifestyle disorders are expected to accelerate the IVD market. IVD market is constantly evolving. Mega trends such as consolidation, automation, and reimbursement policies affect every aspect of the market. The growing importance of diagnostics in patient care is expanding beyond hospitals and laboratories to homes, long term and chronic care, and other segments in healthcare. Apart from the major trends in IVD, there are other key trends like growing digitalization of healthcare to enable a more efficient patient care continuum.

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Published by MMA Media, 2018-07-29 07:28:54

BioSpectrum Asia August 2018

ACCELERATING IVD INNOVATIONS
The increasingly ageing population, need for rapid diagnostic results, emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases, and growing lifestyle disorders are expected to accelerate the IVD market. IVD market is constantly evolving. Mega trends such as consolidation, automation, and reimbursement policies affect every aspect of the market. The growing importance of diagnostics in patient care is expanding beyond hospitals and laboratories to homes, long term and chronic care, and other segments in healthcare. Apart from the major trends in IVD, there are other key trends like growing digitalization of healthcare to enable a more efficient patient care continuum.

Keywords: pharma,biotech,medtech,asia,japan,china,india,ASEAN

4 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

BIO EDIT

Milind Kokje TRUMP PHARMA
FEUD CONTINUES
Chief Editor
Previous month’s developments in the US pharma sector clearly shows that the feud
[email protected] between US President Donald Trump and Pharma giants continues. This time it
is New York based Pfizer Vs. Trump and the cause is once again the drug prices.
Pfizer “modified” prices of 10 per cent of its nearly 400 products and Trump in his
tweet strongly reacted against it saying that Pfizer and others “should be ashamed” for
rising prices for no reason. His strong outrage was obvious since in May he had said that
major drug companies would voluntarily make massive price cuts within weeks. But
Pfizer partially proved him wrong as it had not only increased the prices, but in some
cases among those 10 per cent products the prices have been reduced also. Another
probable reason for President’s ire could be that Pfizer increased the prices second
time in the year, the first time being usual annual hike in January when many other
companies also hiked the prices. The current hike is reported to be over 9 per cent in
most of the cases.

In a subsequent development, Pfizer declared temporary truce, not cancelling but
deferring the price hike till the year end. Though Trump claimed it to be a victory of
“successfully convincing the company to roll back the hike”, Pfizer has put a proviso
that till then the President should implement drug pricing blueprint, which he had been
talking a lot. Pfizer has conveniently put the ball in the administration’s court now.

Pfizer is not the only one on the tweet hit list of Trump. He had criticised some other
companies also earlier for price hikes. Since the beginning of his presidency Trump has
taken up the issue of high drug prices and the feud is continuing. In such a situation
Pfizer’s insistence on drug pricing blueprint assumes lot of importance. The reason
being there is no regulation in US for drug price fixing and it is totally at the discretion
of the companies. Thus, such a blue print can prove to be indicting the administration’s
thought process and precise expectations from the industry. That may probably help the
industry too to frame its policies on price hike.

General perception over the drug price hike is that drug companies are taking
disadvantage of the situation and exploiting the patients. But it is also true that the
decreasing rate of return on investment year by year is compelling the companies to
increase the prices. According to Deloitte report, 12 pharma giants just got 3.2 per cent
return on their R&D cost in 2017 as against 10 per cent in 2010.

The companies also have to negotiate a lot over the list prices with pharmacies and
health insurance companies. That creates a big gap between the list prices and the actual
prices the patients have to pay. The negotiating middlemen pocket a part of this gap and
partially pass it on to patients. Keeping this gap in mind the companies fix the list prices
high keeping them a wide scope for negotiations.

Whatever may be the reasons, genuine or otherwise, some investors have objected
to it. Investor members of the Interfaith Centre on corporate responsibility, in a letter
to Pfizer have quoted Credit Suisse report that price hikes generated $8.7 billion in
net income for top pharma companies last year. They claimed that Pfizer and few other
companies generated all of their earnings growth on price hikes.

Sensing the Trump administration’s views, some companies put restrictions on
themselves. For instance some said their rise would not be more than 10 per cent. Sanofi
has restricted its price hike to the rate of medical inflation. Pfizer has not reportedly
done that. However, its attempt in the latest skirmish compelling the administration
to take definite stand and measures may change the course of this two-year old battle
between Trump and the Pharma companies.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 5

BIO MAIL

ASEAN market Accelerating Innovation

A rather detailed article published on the I feel that discovering and developing new
potential ASEAN pharma market holds medicines is one of the most complex human
today. Do keep updating on the growth of challenges. And a lot of progress is being
the pharmaceutical industry in South Asian made by China in this regard. Share more
countries. information on the life science innovations
taking place in China in the coming issues.
- Raulph Aren, Singapore
- Shyla John, Mumbai

MCI (P) 027/05/2018

Diabetic Burden Government Push

It is amazing to know that so many Interesting interviews conducted on the
initiatives are being taken to combat

diabetes. While there are multiple risk Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the

factors leading to the development of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

diabetes, dietary choices are undisputedly Looking forward to reading more updates on

a key contributor. Please make ‘Diabetes’ a the efforts being made by the government

regular section in your upcoming editions. towards medical research in India.
- Dr Sharon Mathew, Malaysia - Rohit Verma, New Delhi

Vol 13; Issue 08; August 2018 MM Activ Singapore Pte. Ltd. India
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6 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

BIO CONTENT

COVERStory 18

ACCELERATING IVD INNOVATIONS

The increasingly ageing population, need for rapid diagnostic results, emergence and re-emergence of infectious
diseases, and growing lifestyle disorders are expected to accelerate the IVD market. IVD market is constantly evolving.
Mega trends such as consolidation, automation, and reimbursement policies affect every aspect of the market. The
growing importance of diagnostics in patient care is expanding beyond hospitals and laboratories to homes, long term
and chronic care, and other segments in healthcare. Apart from the major trends in IVD, there are other key trends
like growing digitalization of healthcare to enable a more efficient patient care continuum.

26 Q&A 28 Q&A

“Government support is “Diagnostics is still
essential to stay ahead of massively under-valued
rapidly changing market” and under-utilized”

Charmian Cher, Lance Little,
Director, Clinical Strategy (Asia Pacific), Diagnostics and Managing Director,
Region Asia Pacific, Roche Diagnostics
Genomics Group, Agilent Technologies, Singapore

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 7

BIO CONTENT

30 SPECIAL CONNECT
ENGAGE
Asia–vaccine SHARE
manufacturing hub

33 SPECIAL

Cancer burden
on rise in China

38 Q&A

“We have a huge demand supply gap
of almost all resources in healthcare”

Shireesh Sahai,
CEO – India-South Asia, Wolters Kluwer

40

“Our next plan is to
operate on USFDA norms”

Cindy Liu, Sales Manager, and Tina Van, Sales Manager,
Shijiazhunag Xinfuda Medical Packaging

REGULARS Connect with us

BioEdit...........................................04 twitter.com/
BioMail..........................................05 BioSpectrumMag
Regulatory News........................08
Company News..........................10 facebook.com/
Finance News..............................12 BioSpectrumMagazine
Start-Up News.............................13
World News.................................15 https://goo.gl/QY4nUp
WHO News...................................17 /BS-LinkedIn
Science News..............................42
Academics News........................44 www.biospectrumasia.com
Supplier News.............................45
People News................................47
Partnerships................................49

8 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

REGULATORY NEWS

India to Taiwan’s National Health NHIA
Insurance Administration (NHIA) releases
promote has released a new mobile app health
that can help citizens manage management
healthcare their personal health care history app in
more easily. The app, which is Taiwan
courses not yet accessible by foreign
nationals even if they are covered of the top five. The app can also
The Health Ministry in India by national health insurance, alert users to duplications of
has inked a Memorandum gives users a complete record of prescriptions or other problems
of Understanding (MoU) their health care usage over the with medicines. They can even
with the Indira Gandhi previous three years. According see what their medicines look
National Open University to NHIA, the users can check like by double clicking on the
(IGNOU) to scale-up short- their most visited hospitals, their prescription shown on the screen.
term healthcare courses medical history, and the diseases It also provides reminders
and produce over 14 lakh with which they have been of doctor appointments and
trained manpower by 2025. diagnosed, including a ranking when prescriptions for chronic
The signing ceremony of illnesses have to be refilled.
the MoU was presided over To gain access to the app,
by Union Health Minister citizens simply have to install
J P Nadda and Union on the mobile phones and get
HRD Minister Prakash authentication by filling in their
Javadekar. Union Minister mobile phone number and ID
for Skill Development card number.
Dharmendra Pradhan was
also present. The government Japan to promote
has initiated universal
screening of common non- AI based medicines
communicable diseases such
as diabetes, hypertension Japan plans to create comprehensive rules governing
and common cancers along the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical
with tuberculosis and equipment, aiming to speed the deployment of tools
leprosy. This will require that can improve accuracy and efficiency in a health
trained manpower and the care system burdened by an aging population. The
Health Ministry is taking all ministry of health will draw up guidelines this fiscal
necessary steps to address year for evaluating the safety and efficacy of AI-based
this. A robust monitoring and medical equipment. No such criteria now exist, so
assessment framework will be manufacturers face uncertainty on whether their
established under the MoU to device will be approved to go to market. Setting
ensure that Health Ministry clear standards could encourage more companies to
standards are followed enter the field, hastening advancements in medical
stringently. The ministry technology. The new rules will also make clear that
will provide for financial the ultimate responsibility for diagnosing and treating
assistance to IGNOU for disease rests with doctors. This point has been seen
establishing the structure and as particularly important for AI, which blurs the line
initiating the programmes. between machine and human judgement. While
adopting these tools will raise health care investment
in the short term, experts predict they could reduce
costs in the long run by improving efficiency.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 9

REGULATORY NEWS

Singapore seeks public Cambodia and Thailand
step up health cooperation
feedback to prevent
The Cambodian and Thai Health Ministries have signed an
infectious diseases agreement to strengthen cooperation in the health sector,
including their fight against communicable diseases in border
To better prevent the spread of new infectious provinces. A joint statement highlighted that the agreement
diseases, the Ministry of Health (MOH), covered monitoring, protection and control of diseases in
Singapore has proposed measures, including border areas, the elimination of malaria, strengthening
streamlined notification procedures and human resources and increased management of infectious
stopping high-risk individuals from leaving diseases in order to improve existing disease transmission
the country. According to the Ministry, such systems. Between 2017 and 2019, top priorities for both
proposed changes to the Infectious Diseases sides include the eradication of malaria along the border and
Act will ensure that Singapore’s ability to a public health emergency response programme. The two
prevent and control infectious diseases remains countries have also agreed to promote the implementation of
relevant and up to date. The ministry is asking an action plan over the next three years. Since the cooperation
for feedback on these proposals through a between the two countries began, cases of malaria and other
public consultation from June 27 to August 7 communicable diseases have drastically decreased in the
this year. Also, the Act will be amended to allow province and Thailand’s Trat province.
the ministry discretionary powers to return
non-citizens who are not vaccinated to their
places of embarkation without first offering
them vaccination, isolation or surveillance, said
MOH, adding this is in line with international
practice. The Act now requires people entering
Singapore to be vaccinated only against yellow
fever; unvaccinated travellers may be subjected
to vaccination, isolation or surveillance in
Singapore, and those who refuse to comply
may be returned to his place of embarkation.

Israel to invest in
digital health technologies

The Israeli Ministry of Health is currently operating in Israel.
partnering with the Israel Innovation The authority wants to enable
Authority, the government’s tech
investment arm, to launch a new companies to test their products at the
government programme that will invest earliest opportunity, in partnership with
in pilots of digital healthcare or medtech Israel’s health maintenance organizations
technologies. The venture will have an and the Israeli medical corps, Sagi Dagan.
annual budget of around $8.5 million Startups participating in the programme
for the next three years. will receive financing of 20-50 per cent
of their research and development
The programme is the first step expenses. Those developing technologies
of the digital health national plan with the potential to significantly
announced by the government in March advance the Israeli healthcare system,
with a five year budget of $264 million or to improve healthcare both in Israel
(NIS 922 million). The plan proposes and globally, will receive 60-75 per cent.
to provide startups with access to The grant will not constitute an equity
the databases of Israel’s four health investment, but participating companies
maintenance organizations. At the time, will pay the authority royalties if their
400- 500 digital health startups are technology reaches a commercial stage.

10 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

COMPANY NEWS

Merck to focus on S Korea Aptose inks license agreement
for life science research
with CrystalGenomics
Merck, the German multinational company, is
aiming to expand its presence in Korea’s life Aptose Biosciences Inc., a clinical-stage
sciences and health care market. While Merck has biotechnology company committed to developing
three main business areas - performance materials, personalized therapies addressing unmet medical
life sciences and health care - the Korean unit earns needs in oncology, has entered into a license
over half of its revenue from selling performance agreement with CrystalGenomics, Inc. for China
materials. As part of the investment, Merck plans rights to CG-806 (including China, Hong Kong and
to break ground on a new manufacturing and Macau). Aptose will now own worldwide rights
distribution centre dedicated to life sciences (excluding Korea) to develop and commercialize
business, tentatively called the Life science centre, CG-806, a first-in-class, highly potent oral small
in the second half of this year. The centre will be in molecule being developed for acute myeloid
Songdo, Incheon, where Merck’s Korean clients like leukemia (AML), B-cell malignancies and
Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics are based. The other hematologic
company hopes to expand its overall life science malignancies.
business through the new centre. According to
Merck, the Songdo centre will give Korean clients Under the
quick and easy access to laboratory supplies that agreement,
are necessary for developing new therapies and CrystalGenomics will
biosimilar products. receive an upfront
payment of $3 million
and is eligible for
development, regulatory
and commercial-based
milestones, as well as
single-digit royalties
on product sales in
China. Total deal value
for the China territory,
including the upfront payment, is up to $125
million. Recently Aptose exercised its option to
obtain the exclusive license from CrystalGenomics
to develop and commercialize CG-806 worldwide
outside of China and Korea. This new agreement
extends that license agreement to include China.

Cipla, Unitaid join hands to reduce HIV drug price

Cipla and Unitaid have inked The price of the product
a pact to lower the price of is expected to come down
the first combination therapy more as governments
(containing co-trimoxazole, and international funding
isoniazid and vitamin B6) bodies procure larger
that prevents opportunistic quantities for their HIV
infections in people living treatment programmes. The
with HIV. Under this combination therapy is a
agreement, Indian firm Cipla once-daily pill that protects
will reduce the ceiling price in three ways against TB,
of the medicine by more than the leading cause of death
30 per cent from $ 3 to $ 1.99 among people with HIV, and
per person, per month, for all against other life-threatening
public-sector procurers in low bacterial, and protozoan
and middle-income countries. infections.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 11

COMPANY NEWS

CASI signs PATH, SD BIOSENSOR partner
to advance malaria treatment
manufacturing
PATH has announced a new partnership with South Korean company
agreement with SD BIOSENSOR to support the development and availability in key
markets of a new diagnostic intended to support malaria elimination
Yiling Wanzhou
efforts. PATH and SD BIOSENSOR
CASI Pharmaceuticals, developed the Standard G6PD Test
Inc., a biopharmaceutical to guide appropriate clinical care
company dedicated to the of patients with Plasmodium vivax
development and delivery malaria who also have a hereditary
of high quality, cost- enzyme deficiency that can lead to
effective pharmaceutical severe anemia if the patient receives
products and innovative treatment with 8-aminoquinoline-
therapeutics to patients based drugs to cure the infection.
in the U.S., China and PATH is advancing a portfolio
throughout the world, has of novel rapid tests for G6PD
announced a strategic and deficiency that are low cost, simple
long-term manufacturing to use, and meet specifications to improve treatment of patients with
agreement with Yiling P. vivax malaria and support elimination programs. As part of this
Wanzhou International work, PATH partnered with SD BIOSENSOR to develop and evaluate
Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. a new diagnostic for G6PD deficiency. PATH will support and guide SD
for the manufacturing of BIOSENSOR in the registration, manufacture, and sale of the new test in
entecavir and cilostazol. countries where P.
Yiling Wanzhou is a
subsidiary of Shijiazhuang AbbVie, Eisai along with an inspection
Yiling Pharmaceutical launch auto- window. These devices
Co. Ltd. The contracted injector drug contain the same drug
manufacturing facilities solution as the standard pre-
have been inspected by delivery pen filled syringes.
both the U.S. Food and Humira is a fully human
Drug Administration AbbVie has partnered with anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody
(FDA) and China FDA Eisai and its gastrointestinal that neutralises tumour necrosis
(CFDA) and operate diseases unit EA Pharma to factor α (TNF-α) protein
to strict International introduce an auto-injection associated with the inflammatory
Council for Harmonisation delivery pen for Humira response of autoimmune
of Technical Requirements drug. The auto-injector system is diseases. In Japan, the drug
for Pharmaceuticals available in two variants of 0.4ml is indicated for rheumatoid
for Human Use (ICH) pen to deliver 40mg Humira arthritis, plaque and arthritic
Good Manufacturing subcutaneously and 0.8ml for psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis,
Practice (GMP) standards, 80mg dose. intestinal Behçet’s disease,
which will enable CASI polyarticular juvenile idiopathic
to eventually sell both Intended to allow simple arthritis, pustular psoriasis and
entecavir and cilostazol self-injection, the pen-type moderate to severe ulcerative
in the U.S., China and devices feature round body to colitis.
worldwide markets. enable easy handling even for
Entecavir and cilostazol patients with a weak grip. They
are part of the 29 are designed for complete drug
abbreviated new drug injection in around ten seconds.
applications (ANDAs) The systems additionally come
that CASI acquired from with lock function, alert sounds
Sandoz in January 2018. for injection start and finish,

12 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

FINANCE NEWS Nuance enters $58M deal for
non-opioid pain treatment in China
WuXi Biologics
Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and an interscalene brachial plexus
to build $20M Nuance Biotech Co. Ltd have nerve block. Under the terms of
entered into an agreement with the agreement, Pacira has granted
ADC facility Nuance, a China based specialty Nuance the exclusive rights
pharmaceutical company, to to develop and commercialize
WuXi Biologics, a leading advance the development and EXPAREL in China. The
global open-access biologics companies will establish a
technology platform commercialization of EXPAREL joint steering committee to
company offering end-to- (bupivacaine liposome injectable review all development and
end solutions for biologics suspension) in China. EXPAREL is commercialization plans for
discovery, development and a non-opioid option for achieving EXPAREL in China.
manufacturing, announced long-lasting pain control after
that it has started the surgery via infiltration into the Pacira will receive an upfront
construction of a state-of- surgical site or administration as payment of $3 million and is
the-art integrated biologics eligible to receive future milestone
conjugate solution center in payments of up to $55 million
Wuxi city, China. This $20 that are triggered by filing for and
million 6,000 square meter securing regulatory approval(s)
facility will be operational in and annual sales exceeding certain
2019 and provide integrated levels. Pacira is also entitled to
solutions from concept tiered royalties as a percentage
to commercialization of net sales. Nuance intends to
for biologics conjugates file a Clinical Trial Application
including Antibody-Drug with the China Food and Drug
Conjugates (ADCs) and Administration later this year and
other protein conjugates. begin clinical studies in China as
ADCs are complex soon as possible thereafter.
molecules composed of
an antibody linked to a Quantum Surgical raises
biologically active cytotoxic Series A capital from Ally Bridge
drug and are becoming
emerging treatments of Ally Bridge Group (ABG), a China-centered healthcare investor, has
targeted tumor therapy. completed a Series A investment, as the first part of a total of $50 million
WuXi Biologics plans raise, in Quantum Surgical, an innovative surgical robotics company
to build this site into a in France. Quantum Surgical is developing next-generation robotic
world-class ADC R&D and solutions for minimally
manufacturing platform invasive cancer
which will meet US, EU and therapies. Quantum’s
Chinese cGMP standards. predecessor company
The new state-of-the-art Medtech SA, a leading
biologics centre will include French neurosurgical
process development labs, robotics company,
clinical manufacturing was acquired by global
facility (MFG9) with 5,000 orthopaedics giant
L bioreactor capacity and Zimmer Biomet in 2016
commercial manufacturing after an investment from ABG in 2015.
facility (MFG8) with 48,000
L bioreactor capacity which Lifetech Scientific, a leading innovative medtech company in China,
will be built to meet cGMP has also participated in the investment through its joint venture with
standards of the United ABG and will collaborate with Quantum Surgical in China market.
States, the European Union,
and China.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 13

START-UP NEWS

Israeli biotech startups to get new workspace

LR Group is investing NIS LR Group operates The Jerusalem LR Biohouse
50 million in building and worldwide in developing, will have space for 40-50 early
operating three shared financing, building, and stage and more mature biotech
workspaces for biotechnology managing medium and and medical startups as well as
and medical startups near three large scale projects in high a startup accelerator, which will
hospitals in Israel - Hadassah growth economies including be operated by Hadassah. The
Medical Center Ein Kerem agriculture, water, energy startups in LR Biohouse will
in Jerusalem, Rabin Medical and power, telecom, health, enjoy shared equipment and
Centre (Beilinson Hospital) and construction. The first of facilities and data processing
in Petah Tikva and Rambam the three shared workspaces systems and most importantly
Health Care Campus in Haifa. has been built in cooperation access to the hospital’s
The new chain will be called LR with Hadassah Medical Centre infrastructure including
Biohouse and offers a unique Ein Kerem and the Jerusalem laboratories, and amenities
combination of technological Development Authority’s for animal and clinical trials
incubator, shared workspace BioJerusalem venture and will be including access to patients for
and synergy with the hospital. launched next week on June 19. the trials.

Pivotal China leads $16.5M Yaoshibang
completes $65.7M
seed funding for Oncologie financing round

Oncologie, an innovative biopharmaceutical company, Yaoshibang, a Guangzhou-based online pharmacy
recently announced that it is launching operations trading and education platform, recently
in both Boston and Shanghai with $16.5 million seed completed a RMB420 million ($65.7 million)
financing led by Pivotal bioVenture Partners China. series C round led by Shunwei Capital and DCM
Oncologie is committed to developing impactful cancer Ventures. The series C1 round was led by Shunwei
therapies to improve long-term survival of cancer Capital with participation from Green Pine
patients worldwide. Building a pipeline of First and Capital Partners and Elevation China Capital. Its
Best-in-Class clinical stage drug candidates through series C2 round was led by DCM Ventures with
licensing and partnering, Oncologie is leveraging the participation by SIG. With
recent regulatory changes in China to conduct parallel the new round, the firm has
clinical development in China and the US to bring the raised more than RMB600
next wave of Immuno-Oncology products to the two million ($93.8 million).
most important markets simultaneously. Oncologie
is developing multiple global programs currently in Founded by Zhang
Phase 2 and Phase 3 whose mechanisms are designed Buzhen, former vice
to combine with immune checkpoint inhibitors to president of Chinese online
improve survival benefits. The management team of real estate portal Soufang.
Oncologie includes industry veterans from biotech com in 2015, Yaoshibang
and pharma with proven track records in developing started as a B2B
innovative cancer drugs in both China and the US. pharmaceutical trading
platform. It also provides
educational services, database of diseases and
drugs, and career services to pharmacists. It has
more than 150,000 active users and its monthly
gross merchandise volume reached RMB500
million ($78 million). Proceeds of this round
will be used for the firm’s national expansion,
optimization of its supply chain and update of its
SaaS service.

14 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

START-UP NEWS

Orinno Tech works on Clinivantage
curbing dengue transmission
raises $1M
As part of an ongoing field study into curbing dengue
transmissions in Singapore, local startup Orinno Technology from US investor
has been working producing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and
infecting them with the Wolbachia bacteria so they cannot Indian healthtech startup
reproduce. Clinivantage Healthcare Technologies
has raised $1 million from US-
The startup created a device called the larvae counter, which based investor group Metaform
counts mosquito larvae 30 times faster than previous manual Ventures LLC. Clinivantage will
methods. This has helped to increase the production rate and use the newly raised funds to scale
and expand across the globe, for
quality of male product development, deployment of
Wolbachia-Aedes resources for implementation, and for
mosquitoes reared travel and administration. Founded
for research. in 2016, Clinivantage is an integrated
digital platform that connects
In the study, doctors, hospitals, caregivers, and
male Aedes aegypti service providers with the patient
mosquitoes, which in real time and puts patients in
neither bite humans control of their health, bringing
nor transmit speed, simplicity, transparency, and
disease, are efficiency to patient care. The startup
artificially infected offers a flagship PaaS (Platform-
with Wolbachia as-a-Service) across IoA (Internet
bacteria. When they of Applications) products and the
are released and DoTTM (Doctor of Things)-connected
mate with females IoT medical devices. The company
which are not infected, the resulting eggs do not hatch. claims to have registered over 5,000
Orinno Technology created the larvae counter in outpatient practices, more than 1,000
collaboration with the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) secondary and tertiary hospitals, over
Environmental Health Institute. It is working on two other 3,000 allied services providers, and
devices with the institute - a pupae counter and dispenser, more than 6.5 million consumers on
and an automated sex sorter that can separate male and its HealthHuddle.in platform.
female mosquitoes. Similar field studies have been done in
China, Australia and Thailand, but Singapore is the first to
adopt its tools.

HealthMatch secures $1.3M for US expansion

HealthMatch, an Australian start-up aiming to founders Manuri Gunawardena and Arran Schlosberg
become the go-to platform linking sick patients with needed funding to hire software engineers and some
clinical trials of potential treatment, is targeting US marketing and operations staff as the company starts
expansion after a $1.3 million capital raising from to grow in earnest.
Australian venture capital and US industry insiders.
The funding round was led by Sydney-based
The company has created an venture capital fund Tempus Partners, which closed
online platform which uses
machine learning to sort a $40 million fund to invest in local start-ups
through the thousands last year. The round also included
of clinical trials being backing from US-based investors
run by contract research including WhatsApp head of
organisations (CROs) in product Anton Borzov, and
Australia and matches relevant Google’s director of intellectual
registered patients. Its co- property and litigation Catherine
Lacavera.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 15

WORLD NEWS

Health organizations collaborate
with industry to combat diabetes

The American Heart Association support for the initiative is provided Researchers
(AHA) and the American Diabetes by national sponsor Sanofi.
Association (ADA) has announced develop device
the start of a new multi-year The new initiative will enhance
collaborative initiative supported consumer awareness, patient to deliver
by founding sponsors Boehringer education, healthcare provider
Ingelheim, Eli Lilly and Company, training, and quality improvement medicine to heart
measures for clinics, practices and
and Novo Nordisk. The initiative’s hospitals treating people with type An international team of
goal is to help people with type 2 diabetes. researchers have developed
2 diabetes reduce their risk a new minimally invasive
of disability and death due to Together, the AHA and medical device called Therepi
cardiovascular events such as ADA bring strong credentials to that can be placed directly
heart attack and stroke. Additional this effort, with more than 30 on diseased heart tissue to
million volunteers, members and continuously deliver required
healthcare professionals with a drugs, proteins or stem cells.
combined 170 years of expertise. The team was led by Harvard
The AHA is the world’s leading University, Massachusetts
voluntary organization working to Institute of Technology (MIT)
build lives free of cardiovascular and National University of
disease and stroke. The ADA is the Ireland (NUI) Galway, among
nation’s leading voluntary health others. The new implantable
organization working to prevent, tool can be sutured onto
cure and improve the lives of those tissue and is designed to
affected by diabetes. allow localised, refillable
and targeted therapy for the
Brazilian scientists devise AI based heart. In an in-vivo pre-
approach for pathogen detection clinical study, the device
is said to have increased
A team of scientists from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in heart function for four
Brazil has developed a new platform based on artificial intelligence (AI) weeks after a heart attack,
for the diagnosis of various pathogenic diseases. The approach uses following delivery of cardiac
a combination of AI algorithm and mass spectrometry to accurately regenerative therapy of stem
identify metabolic markers in cells over 28 days. The device
patient blood samples. was also able to improve
drug efficiency, cut down
Mass spectrometry can detect doses and minimise adverse
numerous molecules present in side effects of therapies
blood serum, while the algorithm that are usually delivered
can pin-point patterns related to systemically. The researchers
viral, fungal, bacterial and genetic intend to use the device as
diseases. The team built the a therapy delivery platform
platform using Zika virus infection in various ongoing studies
as a model and observed more than and will test it as a research
95 per cent accuracy for diagnosis tool to gain better insights
of this condition. on localised, replenishable
treatment regimens at
It is expected that the algorithm different pathological sites.
can examine large data volumes
for specific patterns that can help in classification, prediction, decision
making and modelling. Currently, the team is assessing the platform
for the diagnosis of fungal systemic diseases, with plans to extend the
evaluation to bacterial and genetic conditions.

16 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

WORLD NEWS Tanzania adopts Healthy
Heart Africa programme
E-health
startup An ambitious project to combat country of nearly 50 million people.
in Egypt non-communicable diseases The partnership has been
launches (NCDs), including the scourge
mobile of hypertension ravaging many designed to substantially reduce
consultation countries in Sub Saharan Africa, has the prevalence of hypertension,
service been launched in Tanzania targeting particularly among expectant
pregnant women. mothers to support Tanzania’s
Egyptian startup strategic action plan for the
ElBalto has launched a AstraZeneca’s Healthy Heart prevention and control of NCDs.
mobile application that Africa (HHA) programme, Touch
provides users with Foundation and the Ministry of The programme aims to train
easy, reliable, timely Health, Community Development, 350 health workers on hypertension
and affordable online Gender, Elderly and Children have care modules, as well as to screen
video consultations unveiled a partnership that will 1,800 health workers and 50,000
via a network of spearhead the implementation of pregnant women over a three-year
customer-rated and the programme in the East African period, directing them, if needed,
licensed doctors. for required treatment.
Video consultations
offered on ElBalto will Korean company launches
initially be available in anti-malaria drug in Kenya
the specialisations of
Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Shin Poong Pharm in partnership Pyramax is the newest ACT
Nutrition and with Perspective Healthcare has combination to be approved by a
Gynecology, while the launched a new Artemesinin Stringent Regulatory Authority
startup will also offer Combination Therapy (ACT) in the and the only ACT to be granted a
home visits in areas fight against Malaria. The drug has positive scientific opinion under
like Orthopedics and demonstrated high cure rates and the European Medicines Agency’s
Cardiology. According provides a long-term protection Article 58 procedure. Pyramax is
to the startup, currently with less reinfection. Pyramax also the first South Korean product
Egypt is suffering from is a fixed-dose combination of included in the World Health
a significant imbalance pyronaridine andartenusate and Organisation’s (WHO) Model Lists
in the health workforce was co-developed by Medicines of Essential Medicines for adults and
distribution, with for Malaria Ventures and Shin children. The drug has been taken
doctors concentrated in Poong Pharmaceutical Company through pre-clinical studies and
the big cities and urban Limited of South Korea. Perspective early clinical studies leading to four
setting. For the online Healthcare are the Marketing agents successful and important Phase III
video consultations, of the Pyramax brand in East Africa clinical trials with more than 3,500
the company is while SurgiPharm are the local patients in countries in sub-Saharan
starting with Egypt distributers. Africa, South East Asia and India.
in general. As for the
home visits, a service
that will follow the
launch, ElBalto will
start with selected
areas, including New
Cairo, Zayed City, and
October City, based on
market research.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 17

WHO NEWS

WHO prequalifies WHO certifies
Paraguay malaria free
Strides Shasun’s
The World Health Organization eliminate malaria, a significant
RAS product (WHO) has certified Paraguay as public health challenge for a
having eliminated malaria, the country that reported more than
Indian drug firm Strides first country in the Americas to 80000 cases of the disease in
Shasun has received pre- be granted this status since Cuba the 1940s. As a result, Paraguay
qualification from the World in 1973. In 2016, WHO identified registered its last case of
Health Organization (WHO) Paraguay as one of 21 countries Plasmodium falciparum malaria
for its rectal artesunate with the potential to eliminate in 1995, and P. vivax malaria
product for the pre-referral malaria by 2020. Through in 2011. A five-year plan to
management of severe the E-2020 initiative, WHO is consolidate the gains, prevent
malaria. The pre-qualification supporting these countries as re-establishment of transmission
from the WHO for the 100mg they scale up activities to become and prepare for elimination
rectal artesunate suppositories malaria-free. certification was launched in
(RAS) has been achieved with 2011. Activities focused on robust
support from Medicines for Other E-2020 countries in case management, engagement
Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Americas include Belize, with communities, and education
funding from Unitaid. This Costa Rica, Ecuador, El to make people more aware
pre-qualification enables Salvador, Mexico and Suriname. of ways to prevent malaria
countries to procure life-saving From 1950 to 2011, Paraguay transmission, and about diagnosis
RAS with donor funding, systematically developed policies and treatment options.
thus ensuring increased and programmes to control and
access to this potentially
life-saving intervention. The
company will now leverage its
significant presence in Africa
to register and distribute the
product where needed on the
continent. To this end, dossiers
have already been submitted in
25 of the countries that could
benefit most.

WHO releases new International Classification of Diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to release its new International
Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is the foundation for identifying
health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55 000 unique
codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death. It provides a common
language that allows health professionals to share health information across
the globe. ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides
significant improvements on previous versions. For the first time, it is
completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format. And there
has been unprecedented involvement of health care workers who have joined
collaborative meetings and submitted proposals. The ICD team in WHO
headquarters has received over 10000 proposals for revisions. ICD-11 will be
presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member
States, and will come into effect on 1 January 2022. This release is an advance
preview that will allow countries to plan how to use the new version, prepare
translations, and train health professionals all over the country.

18 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

COVER STORY

ACCELERATING
IVD INNOVATIONS
The increasingly ageing population, need for rapid
Not always perceived diagnostic results, emergence and re- emergence
as the most exciting of infectious diseases, and growing lifestyle
field as therapeutics, the disorders are expected to accelerate the IVD market.
diagnostics industry is IVD market is constantly evolving. Mega trends such
gaining momentum and as consolidation, automation, and reimbursement
growing and changing policies affect every aspect of the market. The growing
just as fast. At a rapid importance of diagnostics in patient care is expanding
pace with projected sales beyond hospitals and laboratories to homes, long term
growth between 2012 and chronic care, and other segments in healthcare.
Apart from the major trends in IVD, there are other
key trends like growing digitalization of healthcare to
enable a more efficient patient care continuum.

and 2018 from $43.6

billion to $58.8 billion

(CAGR of 5.1 percent), the

industry looks appealing

(EvaluateMedtech). Despite

global economic and

industry challenges, in-vitro

diagnostics (IVD) markets

are growing robustly at

double the rate of the global

pharmaceutical industry in

some segments. Growth

in emerging markets

and next-wave emerging

markets, particularly in the

Asia-Pacific (APAC) region,

are the most important

factors in formulating future

strategies.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 19

Evolving landscape COVER STORY

Among IVD segments, molecular diagnostics is one of IVD market in
the most prominent segment. Molecular diagnostics Asia-Pacific region
is an emerging segment in APAC, and companies
who are facing stagnant growth in mature markets China
have the option of tapping pharmerging countries.
Significant rise in healthcare expenditure, universal The in–vitro diagnostics (IVD) market
coverage, ageing population and willingness to pay in China has been growing rapidly in the past
among consumers are key aspects for companies to few years and is expected to grow steadily in
focus on APAC region. the next few years, with major growth potential
in segments such as infectious disease testing,
“Economic growth in the region is fuelling chronic disease testing and diagnosis in early
investment in national healthcare infrastructures stages of disease. The China In Vitro Diagnostics
and expanding access to healthcare. While signs Market is expected to reach more than $ 10
point to continued growth for the foreseeable future, Billion by 2021 with strong double-digit growth
there are challenges in the medical diagnostics rate from 2016 to 2021 (Frost and Sullivan).
space, especially increasing market complexities Some of the major factors driving the growth of
and competition from both local and multi-national this market are the rising incidences of chronic
players. We believe China, India and emerging lifestyle diseases, public health awareness,
Southeast Asia countries, such as Indonesia, are key growing aging population, demand of tests
markets. They already are large markets for medical in rural areas stimulated by the healthcare
diagnostics but also have substantial underserved reform plan, increasing demand from the
pockets that present significant growth potential. middle class for high–end products and an
increase in the number of private hospitals and
independent testing laboratories. However, low
reimbursement rate, absence of quality products
by the local companies, population factors and
foreign companies face difficulty to enter the low
end IVD products market are restraining the
growth of this market.

Japan

Japan’s market for In-Vitro
Diagnostics is currently estimated to be worth
$ 3 billion in the year 2014 and is expected to
reach $ 3.91 billion by the end of 2020. The
CAGR during this period of the forecast is 5.44
per cent (GlobalData’s additional report, Japan
(JP) In Vitro Diagnostics Market Outlook to
2024). Japan’s IVD market is considered the
most growing sector after China. Some of the
factors contributing to the growth of market
are rapid increase in the chronic & infectious
disease population, technological advances,
rapidly aging population and advent of point of
care diagnostics. However, some of the factors
limiting the growth of the market are a lack of
proper reimbursement policies and stringent
regulatory framework.

South Korea

The South Korean market for in-vitro
diagnostics was estimated at $ 2.7 billion for
the year 2016 and is projected to reach $ 3.18
billion by the end of 2021 at a CAGR of 5.40 per

20 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

COVER STORY

THE EMERGING MARKETS HAVE LARGE
POPULATIONS WHERE CONSUMERS
ARE RELATIVELY LESS AWARE OF
THE NEED FOR HOME HEALTHCARE
DIAGNOSTICS SUCH AS BLOOD
PRESSURE MONITORING. THERE IS A LOT
MORE OPPORTUNITY AND UNREALISED
POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE AND SUPPORT
THE PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION IN
SUCH MARKETS. WITH WEAKER PUBLIC
HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE, THERE
IS AN INCREASED DEMAND FOR HOME
HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS IN THESE
COUNTRIES. FOR DEVELOPED MARKETS
WHERE AGING POPULATIONS ARE
COMMON, CONSUMERS TEND TO BE
MORE WELL-INFORMED AND DO LOOK
FOR BETTER HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS.

Effectively penetrating those aware of the need for home healthcare diagnostics
markets will require data-driven such as blood pressure monitoring. That said, there
insights and breaking with is a lot more opportunity and unrealised potential
traditional practices. Leveraging to influence and support the public health education
innovative technology solutions in such markets. With weaker public healthcare
will be key”, says Wilson Tan, infrastructure, we are seeing an increased demand
Senior Director, IQVIA for home healthcare solutions in these countries.
Analytics, Medical Devices For developed markets where aging populations are
& Diagnostics Asia while common, consumers tend to be more well-informed
and do look for healthcare solutions to help them
talking about how the medical in achieving better quality of life as well as healthy
diagnostics landscape is ageing.”
evolving in APAC region.
“APAC is generally a very wide region in terms
There is an increased of evolving diagnostics landscape. When we
health awareness
across APAC talk about potential in business growth and
region. As a adoption, China tops the chart. China’s
comparative, approach has been quite aggressive in
the consumer and clinical healthcare terms of investment into diagnostics, in
diagnostics landscape differs in terms of regulatory reforms and envision
different countries, in terms of to innovation in the healthcare space.
potential in business growth and There are a lot of innovative trends being
adoption. Alexis En, Regional seen not only in Singapore, but globally.
Marketing Director of Omron Innovation in in-vitro diagnostics field
Healthcare Asia Pacific is qualitatively different from the open-
comments, “Typically, the emerging ended innovation being performed
markets have large populations in other fields, because of the need
where consumers are relatively less for precision and accuracy. Liquid

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 21

biopsy, data analytics COVER STORY
and Point-of-Care (POC)
are some the more cent during the forecast period from 2016 to
popular innovative 2021 (Frost and Sullivan). IVD products used
trends observed in in the infectious disease area account for the
the IVD sector,” says largest share, followed by oncology, which is the
Dr Sidney Yee, fastest growing segment owing to the increasing
prevalence of cancer. South Korea’s contribution
CEO, Diagnostics to the growth of the Asia-Pacific market, in
Development terms of financials, is increasing gradually. This
Hub (DxD Hub) is because of the increasing demand for quality
and Executive healthcare. Many players in this market are
Vice President, trying to expand their product portfolio in order
Incubation to tap the global market. Some companies have
& Startup adopted product innovation and new product
Management launches as their key business strategy to ensure
Division, their dominance in this market. South Korea’s
Singapore. market is expanding its growth by merger
& acquisition activity. The acquisition of SD
Incorporating innovations Diagnostics by Inverness in 2010 is a prominent
example. Some of the key players in the market
Asia- Pacific presents huge opportunities for most are Abbott Laboratories, Bio-Rad Laboratories,
IVD segments, well attributed to a deep base of Inc., Danaher Corporation, Johnson & Johnson,
consumers in all socioeconomic strata. According Roche Diagnostics and Siemens Healthcare.
to estimates from Boston Biomedical Consultants Trends indicate that the IVD market in South
(BBC), the APAC IVD market expanded by over 14 Korea will continue its upward trajectory with
per cent in 2016 in comparison to the worldwide opportunities proliferating in infectious disease
IVD market growth of only 5 per cent in that same testing and early diagnosis. Applications such
timeframe. as molecular testing and POCT are poised to
fuel market momentum. International IVD
companies that have a comprehensive product
line to cater to laboratory needs hold sway over
the market. Japanese companies, in particular,
have a greater presence in South Korea owing
to Japan’s proximity and the preference for
Japanese products. Domestic conglomerates
such as Samsung and LG have realized that
diagnostics is one of the growth engines of the
South Korean economy and have invested huge
sums of money into research and development.
These companies are synergizing biotechnology,
medical technology, and information technology
to differentiate their products. The growing
acceptance of molecular diagnostic tests has
spurred the development of new tests by
innovative regional companies.

India

IVD market in India is growing at
an extraordinary pace and the country has the
potential to emerge as a global manufacturing
hub in the medical devices space. India is the
fourth largest market for IVD devices in Asia
after China, Japan and South Korea. Demand
for personalized medicines, innovations in
diagnostic techniques, increasing preference

22 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

COVER STORY

MARKET OUTLOOK AND remote areas. And improvements in connectivity are
GROWTH SEGMENTS ensuring that the data from all these technologies are
collected and analysed, opening new possibilities for
Country Growth Segments medical research and population health management.

China Diabetes, Histology, Localisation will be key to ensuring that these new
technologies are effectively deployed in Asia- Pacific.
Molecular Assay, Also, diagnostic services may need to be recalibrated
to meet the price points of low-resource settings.
Rapid Testing Explaining the various pricing models that diagnostic
and medical devices follow, Kuldeep says, “Bundling
India Diabetes POCT, Cytology, and volume discounting are common. Often there is
a backend system/machine needed to read/analyse/
Molecular Histopathology report data from the point of care device. Discounting
of the initial set up cost is common providing there
Korea Diabetes, Hemostasis, is guaranteed volume turnover. Revenue is often
generated through fixed costs after sales service fees,
POCT extended warranties and replacement schedules.
Future outlook for shifts towards more outcome
Taiwan Diabetes based pricing may affect the device industry and their
pricing models will need to adapt accordingly.”
Indonesia POCT, Immunoassay,
Asia has an exquisite emerging R&D ecosystem.
Molecular Diagnostics This has led to producing more of its own IVD
products and services. Countries like China, Japan
The Philippines Clinical Chemistry, and Singapore are going beyond localisation and
playing a growing role in breakthrough innovation.
Histology
Cancer diagnostics is one of the main area of
Malaysia Molecular Diagnostics, focus and has witnessed substantial investment
and M&A activity in the past year. In March 2017,
Immunoassay, POCT China’s Tencent participated in a $900 million
funding round of Grail, an American company
Source- Frost & Sullivan, Market Insight working on novel methods for diagnosing cancer
from blood samples. Japan’s Softbank led a $360
APAC’s ageing populations million investment in Guardant Health, which is
and changing epidemiological working on similar technologies in May 2017. And in
trends create demand for July 2017, Japan’s Konica Minolta announced plans
new types of diagnostic to buy Ambry Genetics, another cancer screening
tests and business models, company, for $889 million. Other innovations
often tailored specifically are rooted in novel partnerships between IVD
to individual countries and companies and other stakeholders. A few diagnostics
cultures. Kuldeep Singh, companies, for example, are partnering with insurers
CEO, Biofourmis says, to distribute DNA testing kits for policyholders. By
“We see the interest encouraging early detection of disease and disease
from payer and risks, partnerships like these could improve health
providers to assess outcomes for individuals and thus reduce claims
new innovative costs for insurers – a win for everyone. Partnerships
methods to between IVD companies and governments, NGOs,
deploy and providers, and even technology firms can provide
enhance similar opportunities.
medical
diagnostics. China has a huge potential with a Convergence of digital
vibrant industry. Mature markets like Australia, technology and diagnostics
where government policy and funding reform is
incentivising precision medicine; Telcos are investing Digital tech is bringing transformation and disruption
millions to increase coverage to all corners of the to the medical diagnostics arena. The combination
country; insurers are investing in new member of digitization, digital imaging and processing and
health services that benefit greatly from enhanced
diagnostic capability and the population is one of
the highest technology adopters, provides significant
opportunity for research and development and new
commercial partnerships.”

New technologies power some of these
innovations. Lab automation tools, for example,
are bringing efficiencies to regions suffering from
workforce shortages and skills gaps. Point-of-
care diagnostics are increasing access to testing in

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 23

machine learning is enabling medical diagnostics to COVER STORY
be performed better, faster and cheaper, bypassing
manpower constraints. for point-of-care testing among the general
population, a growing geriatric population
“One example is in digital pathology. base and increase in disposable incomes is
Traditionally, highly trained pathologists spend driving the growth of the IVD sector in India.
significant time visually inspecting tissue samples Advances in surgical techniques, emerging
under the microscope. This is a highly manual trends in emergency diagnostics and evolutions
process, constrained by the limited numbers of in patient care systems point to the fact
trained pathologists. With the advancement in digital that hospital laboratories would be the key
capabilities, the first scan of the tissue samples can determinants in deciding the designing and
be performed reliably by a mathematical algorithm. marketing strategies of IVD makers. Clinical
This step can filter out a sizable proportion of laboratories will also form an important client
samples and dramatically reduce the time spent base for the country’s IVD sector with the need
by the pathologist. This is especially important in for revamped devices and testing capabilities.
developing countries, where trained pathologists are The rapid growth in the home healthcare
in short supply”, says Tan. segment is also set to govern the parameters
on which IVD players would position their
Alexis believes that the future of diagnostics product portfolios. Global IVD companies are
is digital. “As the general population becomes expanding their operational footprint in India
more accustomed to digital devices and our lives which presents a growing market for their
become more digitalized, the convergence of digital products like ready-to-use test kits equipped
technology with health diagnostics products has with features like high specificity and acute
become an expected natural progression. Healthcare diagnostic analysis. There is a growing need for
data analytics is also a growing trend due to rising advanced diagnostic products which include
interest from governments, healthcare institutions sequencers and molecular test analyzers for
and private sector organisations. There is a consensus servicing the rapidly rising rural healthcare
that with more healthcare data recorded, the sector. The medical devices industry in India
medical profession will be able to better determine is still in a nascent stage and its efficacies are
the associated risks and patterns related to various largely restrained by a fragmented structure
diseases.” and its import centric nature.

However, in recent years, this focus has turned to Singapore and Malaysia
consumers taking charge of such data, empowering
people to take a proactive approach in managing IVD manufacturers seeking marginal
their own health. “For example, the Omron Connect growth are focusing on regional markets. The
mobile app behaves like a personal health aide, whole of Southeast Asia represents a unique
allowing users to automatically record daily blood opportunity for healthcare providers and their
pressure and body composition readings. The app various industry suppliers, including the IVD
also sends reminders and can conveniently share data industry. Singapore is the nexus of regional
with doctors, reducing the need to visit clinics and trade as well as the leading port and centre for
hospitals. This “virtual consultation” trend looks set the entire Asia-Pacific. The city-state features
to grow as well”, she adds. the most developed and highest rated healthcare
system in Southeast Asia and serves as the
Technology has a key role to play in making headquarters and regional manufacturing
earlier diagnosis a tangible possibility, helping to centre for some medical device, biotechnology,
ease the burden by improving patient outcomes and IVD, and pharmaceutical companies. Its
reducing costs. In April 2018, FDA approved an neighbour Malaysia has arguably the second-
AI- powered diagnostic device (by a company called most developed healthcare system in Southeast
IDx) for ophthalmology that does not need doctor’s Asia. Through Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, IVD
help. “Convergence is happening at an accelerated companies have access to approximately 35
pace with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in million potential patients, over 700,000 annual
the form of machine learning on the data that the medical tourists, and healthcare systems with
diagnostic devices are generating. In the past, it was higher per capita spending than anywhere else
human interpretation of the data that then informed in Southeast Asia or anywhere in Asia outside
the clinical care. Now we have the ability to enhance of Japan, Australia, or Korea. Singapore and
and speed up the process. An example is our bio Malaysia present IVD markets and opportunities
vitals analytic engine which takes in physiological

24 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

COVER STORY

MAJOR PLAYERS using new mediums beyond polymers and alloys”,
IN THE IVD MARKET says Wilson Tan.

● Roche Diagnostics Harmonization across regulatory bodies on
● Siemens Healthcare risk classifications and submission requirements is
● Danaher needed. This will create efficiencies in bringing new,
● Abbott Laboratories innovative devices to market. Realizing better patient
● Thermo Fischer Scientific care from these new devices should not be hobbled
● Sysmex by regulatory inefficiencies, especially when more
● Becton Dickenson and more health ministries themselves are providing
● Alere seed funding to foster diagnostics development and
● bio Merieux growth.
● Werlen Group
“We are involved with the regulators to shape
Source- EvaluateMedtech the regulations as technology is moving at such a
fast pace that we believe that regulations and the
data from medical grade devices and provides an providers of the technology and devices needed
index which helps clinicians ascertain if a patient to work in tandem. There is still lack of mobile
is going to have a health deterioration all within a infrastructure in more remote areas of APAC.
secure network. This enables medical intervention in Consumer and provider confidence in provision of
advanced of the patient being admitted to hospital. secure data networks,” adds Kuldeep Singh.
Hence improving patient clinical care, quality of life
and also saving precious resources. Importantly, Alexis En adds, “Some emerging markets do
providing consumer confidence in personal not yet regulate the importation of home medical
data security is critical if we are to reach the full devices (such as home blood pressure monitors and
potential of this convergence” says Kuldeep Singh of nebulizers). This means that the market is flooded
Biofourmis. with low cost, but unvalidated products. This
impedes consumer awareness of the need for accurate
He further says “Biofourmis is working to deploy diagnostics and by extension better management
remote clinical care services for patients post discharge of their health. Omron is making ongoing efforts
from hospital. Patients are monitored utilising medical with relevant authorities to improve regulatory
grade sensors and access their clinical care team frameworks and better protect and support the health
through a mobile app. The care team themselves of people in these areas of the world.”
have a dashboard that provides them with ongoing
physiologic data from the patient’s devices. Cost Dr Sidney Yee, CEO, Diagnostics Development
containment is being achieved through accessing Hub (DxD Hub) and Executive Vice President,
telehealth revenue streams and measuring outcomes Incubation & Startup Management Division,
to prove these new services generate net savings Singapore says, “The importance of global regulatory
and improve quality of life. Improvements in mobile harmonization in the field of diagnostics has long
infrastructure and high adoption of mobile devices has been acknowledged. However, the rapid technological
enabled the deployment of such care pathways.” innovation that characterizes the IVD industry is
outpacing current regulatory frameworks. Safety to
Growth in the future patients and evidence is crucial. While innovation is
important, we probably also need to have a safety test
Based on the emergence of new, more user-friendly of these innovations without having to be incumbent
tests, innovations and technologies, increasing access by a lot of these processes that have been put down by
to healthcare, and the prevalence of several chronic years. Sometimes, innovations disrupt the standard
and infectious diseases, the IVD market in APAC and process. For regulators to deal with innovations, an
around the globe is likely to remain vigorous. innovation sandbox might be helpful which will also
deal with the regulatory challenges.”
“We see the industry moving towards a greater
reliance on data, gathered in near real-time, to Emphasizing on the gradual shift towards early
inform decision-making for products in market detection, thanks to sensor technology and wearables,
and predictive forecasts for market entry strategy. Tan adds, “Current trends point toward a focus on
Additionally, the barriers to high-value design and oncology, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, with
manufacturing will be lowered due to advancements an emerging focus on mental health conditions. This
in bench-top simulation models and 3D printing will add to the deluge of healthcare data - which in
turn will drive advancements and adoption of data
science and artificial intelligence (AI) to organize and

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 25

glean actionable insights from the data. Ultimately COVER STORY
this should benefit individual patients through faster
diagnosis and targeted therapies based on their with healthy prospects and solid fundaments
genetic makeup.” in clinical demand. Multinational companies
participate in the Singaporean and Malaysian
“Medical diagnostics will become more consumer market.
aka patient focus – and start incorporating the IoT
into its delivery. We are also driving for AI to enhance Australia
what we have now alongside remote care models to
realise better healthcare. Regulatory wise it needs Australia represents a highly
to take the form of a governance structure which is competitive IVD market with established
still flexible enough to enable innovation to occur. international players, a highly developed
Infrastructure is already making its ways into the export-intensive domestic industry, and
further reaches of any geography with that the ability highly consolidated clinical lab and testing
for patients to access care models not previously industry. While other developed IVD markets
available. One of the biggest advances over the next in North America, Europe and Japan are not
decade will be achieving greater levels of diagnostic estimated to be achieving above 3 per cent
precision at the individual level by being able to annual growth, the Australian IVD market
capture and process multiple objectives and patient has grown at an average of roughly 5 per
reported variables in the context of the environment cent through the past five years. This rate of
in which the person lives using machine learning. growth is projected to more or less continue
This will in turn give rise to the other significant with a stable funding environment through
advancements in the next decade. Also, the usage Medicare and a performing economy. With
of diagnostic precision to generate personalised universal healthcare and a high level of doctor
prescriptions of care that have a demonstrable health visits providing access to medical technology
benefit. To scale these new advances, the medical and labs using competitively priced complex
diagnostic industry and its partners will need to testing, Australia represents a premier in vitro
compensate/incentivise and insure people for use diagnostics (IVD) market in the Asia-Pacific
of personal data and be willing to risk share for with excellent per capita IVD spending on par
outcomes,” Kuldeep concludes. with Japan. Approximately half of every dollar
spent on clinical testing or pathology services
Priyanka Bajpai in Australia is provided by the universal public
[email protected] health insurance program, Medicare.

Indonesia

The Indonesian IVD Market is $233
million, according to Indonesia IVD Market
Analysis. Indonesia is experiencing increasing
per capita income among working professionals
and middle class, which is triggering a
movement from self-medication to clinical and
hospital treatment, with the help of subsidized
healthcare services. Indonesia’s clinical testing
market is at par with those of its neighbours,
for instance the Malaysian IVD market. The
country is the 4th largest in the world in terms
of population after China, India, and USA
and an important and prospective market for
diagnostics and medical device manufacturers.
Worth mentioning is that in the Indonesia IVD
market, foreign IVD companies are banned from
making any direct sales. Only local distribution
companies, who have distribution licenses, can
engage in IVD sales in the country. Therefore,
assistance of a local legal firm is the best way
for a foreign company to set up its operations in
Indonesia.

26 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

Q&A

“Government support is essential to
stay ahead of rapidly changing market”

« facilities, and manufacturing centers. The study added
that MedTech industry in Asia-Pacific is estimated to
Charmian Cher, have reached almost $90 billion in 2015 and is expected
to double by about $190 billion by 2025 overtaking the
Director, Clinical EU as the second largest market next to the US.

Strategy (Asia Pacific), Molecular diagnostics is another area that is rapidly
growing. Its key applications of interest are oncology,
Diagnostics and reproductive health and postnatal diagnostics. For
APAC, this is mainly driven by precision medicine
Genomics Group, as most companies look to have more personalized
treatment and disease management widely available
Agilent Technologies, to all patients. Rapid development of new genetic
technologies such as microarrays and next generations
Singapore sequencing are helping fuel this growth. As this market
evolves, new guideline on genetic testing, data privacy
Demand for healthcare continues to escalate in and reimbursement will be established.
Asia Pacific (APAC), driven by rapidly aging
population with complex healthcare needs, As a comparative, which countries have shown
a shift in focus from infectious to life-threatening
diseases and a more informed populace. In Singapore, more potential in business growth and adoption?
diagnostics has emerged as a way for earlier and The fastest growing market is China. In 2016, the country
better identification of diseases to control rising announced the world’s largest precision medicine
healthcare costs. Along with the country’s state-of- initiative which is expected to draw investment of up to
the-art infrastructure and high standards of medical $9 billion. In addition, with the rapid growth of next-
practice, Singapore has become a natural choice for gen sequencing, in January 2018, China Food and Drug
many global diagnostic companies to establish their Administration (CFDA) refined their in-vitro diagnostic
regional business operations. However, despite in-vitro (IVD) for immunohistochemistry and instrument
diagnostic (IVD) being an important early intervention regulation which means that more products can be
tool for diseases, only two per cent of overall worldwide regulated to the patients which opens opportunity for
healthcare spending goes towards in-vitro diagnostics. MedTech companies like Agilent to invest in the country.
Recently, Charmian Cher, Director, Clinical Strategy Singapore is starting to catch up. Currently it is home
(Asia Pacific), Diagnostics and Genomics Group, Agilent to more than 60 multinational MedTech companies.
Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd spoke to BioSpectrum Eight out of 10 top global players in the life science tools
Asia about the growing demands of diagnostics and industry have some form of activity in Singapore across
innovation in Asia Pacific and Singapore in particular. manufacturing, R&D and headquarter functions. As part
Edited excerpts; of Singapore’s development plans, the commercial arm
of the country’s science and research agency A*STAR
How is the medical diagnostics landscape launched the Diagnostic Development (DXD) hub
evolving in APAC region? in 2014 to accelerate Singapore’s readiness of locally
Asia Pacific makes up more than half the global developed diagnostic products. In addition, the South
population. The region is a melting pot of different Korean government is putting funds into clinical precision
cultures, each with unique characteristic and needs. medicine and we see that growing in the coming years.
According to a study conducted by McKinsey and Japan is the most regulated market in APAC. For South
Company supported by the Asia Pacific Medical Asia-Pacific, the fastest growing countries are Australia,
Technology Association (APACMed), the region’s Thailand and Vietnam where they are adopting to new
healthcare needs is a reflection of its growing technologies faster than rest of the region.
population. Trends such as an increasing aging
population, urbanization and chronic respiratory What is the driver or competitive advantage
diseases underpin the demand for improved healthcare.
As such, private hospitals and MedTech companies are fueling this growth?
expanding rapidly in the region establishing their R&D

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 27

Q&A

Government focus is eminent. Apart from that, the We have also collaborated with other universities,
population is educated about the need for testing most recently with Monash University in Malaysia.
via media and internet and thus drives demand for The Monash-Agilent Centre for Integrative Biology
diagnostic check. combines Monash’s research excellence with Agilent’s
breakthrough solutions. Agilent provides hardware
What are your views on the convergence of digital and software as well as training and ongoing support
to the staff of Monash University. Just last month,
technology and medical diagnostics? Can you Agilent opened a new 11,000 square feet Global
Solution Development Center in Singapore to meet the
please elucidate this with some examples and increasing demand for fully tested solution, optimize
laboratory processes and introduce transformative
trends? ways to boost productivity.
Digital technology has dramatically changed every
industry including the medical field. In order to enhance What may be some of the logistical or regulatory
our equipment and solutions, Agilent has leveraged
both acquisitions and internal innovations. impediments that hinder such initiatives?
As mentioned earlier, geographical boundaries hinder
For Agilent Diagnostic and Genomics Group (DGG) us from reaching other markets to introduce diagnostic
the acquisition of Cartagenia (clinical grade SaaS-based technologies. As such, these markets lack awareness
NGS and CGH variant assessment software), Lasergen that we provide such equipment to improve their
(next generation sequencing technology) and Genohm healthcare solutions. Singapore is a strategic location
(laboratory information management system) will for our company as it gives us access to the surrounding
complement the vision of the full laboratory workflow countries where we have yet to establish our presence.
in NGS from when the patient sample comes into the
lab until the final diagnosis. This complete workflow What changes, regulatory or otherwise, can help
solution will eventually allow a clinician to have all the
data and information needed to make a diagnosis at accelerate the growth of in-vitro diagnostics?
his/her fingertips, consolidated from multiple testing The patient is of course the most important part of the
modalities. Like many companies, Agilent is moving equation. In order to give them the best treatment it is
to a digital model that depends heavily on cloud important that laboratories should have access to the
technology. We plan to digitize life sciences through best equipment and solution in the market. Government
different initiatives from offering our customers with assistance and funding support is essential to help
SaaS-based laboratory management to connected lab laboratories to stay on top of technology and ahead of
tools through our iLab Solutions Group. the rapidly changing market. One initiative that can
be done is by allowing patient for test reimbursement.
High-quality diagnostic technologies still remain Today it is mostly only the drug prescription that is
elicitable for reimbursement. Much the same way, it
inaccessible and unaffordable in many places. will encourage more patients to track their health to
drive demand for IVD.
What efforts are being made to increase this
How do you see medical diagnostics industry
outreach and adoption? Is Agilent doing anything
evolving over the next decade? What can be some
to handle this?
Singapore is a strategic location for us because it gives of the regulatory and infrastructure drivers to
us access to neighboring countries where we have
yet to establish our presence. We break geographical realize better global healthcare for the population
boundaries and come as close as possible to the
countries we feel we can help make a difference by at large?
introducing to them our equipment to improve their The medical diagnostics industry will move towards
healthcare solutions. a more targeted and personalized diagnose that will
provide more suitable treatment for the patient. As
Agilent is focused on developing complete NGS mentioned in the earlier question, it is essential for
and microarray solutions for cancer and constitutional government to provide assistance and funding support
analysis which will allow labs with little expertise to help laboratories stay on top of technology and ahead
to adopt and implement. These simplified solutions of the rapidly changing market. In addition, providing
will not only include the necessary components to go education to increase awareness will encourage people
from sample to report but will involve expert service to track their health.
and support to guide users through verification within
their labs. In 2015, we launched Agilent University Priyanka Bajpai
in Singapore which offers more than 200 technology [email protected]
courses for our customers and field support engineers
across Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions.

28 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

Q&A

“Diagnostics is still massively
under-valued and under-utilized”

« thinning therapy.
For these patients, regular testing of the
Lance Little,
International Normalised Ratio (INR) levels is
Managing Director, necessary to ensure the right dosage and monitor the
effectiveness of their therapy. Poor control may lead to
Region Asia Pacific, complications such as bleeding or stroke.

Roche Diagnostics With our Bluetooth-enabled Roche CoaguChek
home monitoring device, patients under therapy
With heart disease, obesity and diabetes can conveniently test and monitor their INR levels,
rates on the rise, chronic disease is set to in less than five minutes. Regular testing of INR
continue its upward trend. According to the will indicate if patients are at risk of complications
World Health Organization, chronic illness globally is or whether they are safe and within therapeutic
expected to rise by 57 per cent by 2020, with almost range. In the past, results would typically would
half of total chronic disease deaths attributed to be available for the doctor to review during patient
cardiovascular diseases. Effective management of consultations, which on average are once every six
patients with chronic diseases requires constant and months. However, with automatic real-time access to
regular monitoring, often using home monitoring results, doctors can better manage their patients on
devices. As a result, security and privacy of real-time coagulation monitoring versus the current standard
data from these devices to healthcare professionals of care. Most data exchanges currently operate under
becomes questionable. Roche Diagnostics looks centralized model where a copy of data is exchanged
to join the collaboration formed between Info- under the rules and governance of the individual
communications Media Development Authority environment. Under this model, there is limited
of Singapore (IMDA), DEX and PwC Singapore, provenance, auditability, and trust. In addition,
with the aim to plug this gap using Ocean Protocol, data owners can lose control of their data assets and
a blockchain-based technology that allows secure, more importantly, privacy and security can be easily
transparent and traceable exchange of data. Lance compromised.
Little, Managing Director, Region Asia Pacific, Roche
Diagnostics recently spoke to BioSpectrum Asia about
this partnership, effective use of medical data, key
opportunities in diagnostics space and company’s
plans in the coming years. Edited excerpts;

Can you tell us more about the partnership you
have entered with IMDA, PWC and DEX? How
will patients be benefited from this partnership?
As part of our planned collaboration with DEX, IMDA
and PwC Singapore, Roche Diagnostics is initiating a
pilot study to determine how decentralized blockchain
data exchange technology – Ocean Protocol – can
enable trusted and secure real-time data sharing
from our CoaguChek patient device to the hospital
information system can help to improve the current
practice and standards of care for patients on blood-

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 29

Q&A

The Ocean Protocol can present a unique solution globe, there has been a reduction of women dying
for addressing today’s data exchange challenge from cervical cancer because of the introduction
by combining blockchain technology and a trust of pap smears. However, research has shown that
framework that is co-developed with IMDA to ensure this test can miss instances of cervical cancer. The
safe, secure, and trusted data exchange. human papilloma virus (HPV) is the leading cause of
cervical cancer, causing more than 99 per cent of cases
So, with this pilot project we are determining the according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
safe and secure sharing of the INR results of patients
on anti-coagulation therapy from the home monitoring Roche developed a new technology which identifies
device to the hospital information system. the 14 most prevalent high-risk HPV genotypes, and
can provide specific genotyping information for HPV
Ultimately, through the pilot, we hope to gain a types 16 and 18 which cause 70 per cent of all cervical
better understanding of existing need-gaps, which cancers. With the introduction of the HPV test, high
could enable us to create a data-driven healthcare risk patients can be identified, meaning preventative
environment that provides physicians with the right measures can be put in place without delay, ultimately
digital tools to support decision making, and ensure saving more women’s lives.
better patient care.
Most recently, Australia phased out the pap smear
Which diseases/ conditions does Roche test in favour of the HPV test so that women are tested
for the presence of the HPV rather than testing for
Diagnostics intend to focus its efforts on in near abnormal cells, which may not occur until many years
after initial infection with HPV.
future?
Roche Diagnostics offers the industry’s broadest How do you envision Roche Diagnostics
range of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) solutions. We bring
innovations that are relevant and can meet the needs developing in the next 20 years from now?
of the local populations. We’re at an interesting point in time. The healthcare
industry is evolving so quickly that it’s difficult to
Our product portfolio ranges from blood glucose predict the changes in the next decade, much less
meters for people with diabetes and point-of-care envision where we’ll be in 20 years. But I will say that as
testing devices for use in doctors’ offices, to high- the global leader in in vitro diagnostics, I am confident
throughput analysers for hospitals and commercial that Roche Diagnostics will continue to deliver the
diagnostic laboratories. We also supply state-of-the- best possible diagnostic solutions to improve people’s
art instruments and reagents for life science research. lives. As the industry leader, we have the opportunity
to enhance healthcare delivery and ultimately benefit
Simply put, we will continue to focus our efforts society as a whole.
on leveraging scientific knowledge and bringing
innovative solutions that can address unmet medical Whilst diagnostics has always been one of the
needs. Take for example our HPV test. Around the pillars of healthcare, it is now positioned to play a key
role in revolutionising healthcare. Digital has already
emerged as a key driver in the healthcare space, but
what we will see more of in the coming decades is the
application of digital and tech tools in the diagnostics
environment, and the advent of digital diagnostics.

Sophisticated digital diagnostic tools will empower
doctors to make the right decisions, allow patients to
have more control over their health and well-being,
and give payers and policymakers the confidence that
they are investing in the right solutions.

Diagnostics is still massively under-valued and
under-utilized. Today, it represents just 2- 3 per cent
of all healthcare spending but influences 60 -70 per
cent of medical decision making. In times to come,
I hope we can change this. It is when we collectively
harness the true potential of diagnostics that we can
enhance the overall standard of care.

Priyanka Bajpai
[email protected]

30 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

BIOSPECIAL

ASIA–VACCINE
MANUFACTURING HUB

Slowly, yet steadily Asia’s vaccine industry is growing. Huge demand, novel

vaccines to tackle rare and emerging diseases, immunization programmes,

awareness of diseases prevention, increasing interest and investments from major

pharmaceutical companies and growing indigenous domestic vaccine players are

shaping the Asia’s vaccines industry.

Home to over 60 per cent of the world’s importance for developing countries. Increasing
population, Asia represents a significant affordability, rising healthcare access in India and
opportunity for vaccines producers. Asia is China, and subsidized immunization for the elderly
one of the largest markets for vaccine manufacturers in Australia, Japan and South Korea has increased
and the region is also slowly emerging as a vaccine the demand for quality vaccines multifold. In a bid to
manufacturing hub. Vaccines allay the threat of promote good healthcare and reduce the incidences
preventable deaths and this makes vaccines on of the of pandemics, Asian governments are striving to
most important aspect of public health. ensure that every stratum of the society, irrespective
of social and economic status is granted access to
The present emergency with the Ebola and Zika immunization. In May 2012, the WHO launched
vaccine provides us an excellent example where the ‘Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP)’ that was
a vaccine was feasible several years ago, but the authorized by 194 member states of the World Health
global health community waited for a humanitarian Assembly. The growing economies of Asia and the
disaster to direct efforts and resources to develop this increasing urban middle class with speeding capacity
vaccine. Emergence and re-emergence of new and are enabling expanded access to healthcare, including
long-forgotten diseases have instigated enhanced vaccines. Moreover, Asia is home to more than 60
novel vaccine research and development. According per cent of the world’s population and the growing
to a transparency market research report, the global middleclass with awareness of heath and prevention
vaccines market was valued at around $ 28.0 billion is further spurring the growth of this industry.
in 2016 and is expected to post CAGR of over 6.0 per
cent from 2017 to 2025 to reach value of around $ Sharing his insights on Asian vaccine industry,
48.0 billion by 2025. The rising demand for better Sinovac spokesperson says, “Asia accounting for the
healthcare infrastructure and high awareness levels largest population and birth cohort compared to any
of the benefits of immunization are the major factors other continent in the world thus has the highest
boosting the vaccine market growth. About 80 per potential for vaccines. Better access, improvement in
cent of global vaccine sales come from large multi- coverage, inclusion of new essential vaccines into EPI
national corporations (MNC) that were the product of would ensure that the growth is consistent.”
various mergers and acquisitions of pharmaceutical
companies over the past decades. These include GSK, Another major factor driving the growth
Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International Inc, of the vaccines market is the rising burden
Cadila Pharmaceuticals, GE Healthcare, Johnson of infectious diseases across the globe. The
& Johnson, Merck & Co., Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur. prevalence of infectious diseases such as
Despite huge demand, barring a few players in India, influenza, malaria, pneumonia, measles,
China, Japan; the number of vaccine manufacturers meningococcal meningitis, dengue, HIV,
in Asia is relatively low and the continent is hepatitis, and diphtheria is quite
dependent on imports to fulfil their demand for high. According to the WHO,
immunization. 3 to 5 million cases of
influenza are
A report by World Health Organization (WHO),
highlights that there are more than 120 new products
in the development pipeline out of which 60 are of

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 31

BIOSPECIAL

reported each year worldwide and an estimated of the world, being home to highly successful
290,000 to 650,000 deaths occur due to the vaccine giants who have helped the country emerge
disease. In 2015, 325 million people were living as a global vaccine manufacturing hub. Despite
with chronic hepatitis infections and an estimated safety showdowns, China’s vaccine industry is
1.34 million deaths were reported due to it globally. growing too. The first vaccine produced in China
Pneumococcal disease kills over half a million to obtain the UN’s prequalification was Japanese
children below the age of five years globally every encephalitis vaccine in October 2013. Since then
year. Most of these deaths occur predominantly the industry has seen significant growth. Some of
in developing countries. Nearly 215,000 children the major players in this industry include Chengdu
deaths under the age of 5 years are reported each Institute of Biological Products, Hualan Biolgical
year worldwide due to vaccine-preventable rotavirus Bacterin, Jilin Brother Biotech, Wuhan Institute of
infections. The rising cases of these diseases is Biological Products, Lanzhouz Institute of Biological
expected to boost the demand for vaccines used for Products.
the prevention of these infectious diseases which in
turn is expected to boost the growth of the market The vaccine industry in East Asia, typically in
during the forecast period. Government initiatives for Japan, Korea and Taiwan, has witnessed a good
expanding vaccination coverage is likely to boost the growth over the past ten years. As part of its 2020
demand for vaccines globally. strategy, the Vietnamese Government intends to
meet 80 per cent of its domestic pharmaceutical
Recently the vaccine industry has introduced demand through local drug manufacturers. The
many new vaccines covering a large spectrum of policy is having a major impact on the vaccine
diseases and this is pushing the market towards market, with the country now able to produce 11 of
significant growth. Market research reports suggest the 12 vaccines included in the national expanded
that the vaccines for cancer are expected to have immunization programme. Indonesia is also pushing
a phenomenal growth due to increased disease to expand its domestic vaccine manufacturing, so that
incidence in the areas of cervical, prostrate and the market is covered with vaccines in the country’s
lung cancer. Though the pediatric vaccines were regular immunization schedule. The state-owned
dominating the vaccine market in the past, a change pharmaceutical company Bio Farma is at the center
in this trend is expected due to a high demand of these efforts, and has been expanding exports so
that 60 per cent of its production is now exported to
forecasted for the adult vaccines. 133 countries, UNICEF and WHO.
In Asia, Japan, India
The government of Korea has set ambitious
and China regions are targets for the growth of its vaccine industry by
the hotspots for vaccine the end of the decade. It targets a tenfold increase
manufacturing. Japan has in the value of exports and an increasing presence
been very successful and in its domestic market from 30 to 80 per cent. In
currently leads the Asian Taiwan, too there are budding manufacturers joining
vaccine industry. India the market with innovative portfolio such as new
undeniably remains the influenza vaccines and cancer vaccines.

vaccine epicenter

NEARLY 215,000 CHILDREN DEATHS UNDER THE AGE OF
5 YEARS ARE REPORTED EACH YEAR WORLDWIDE DUE

TO VACCINE-PREVENTABLE ROTAVIRUS INFECTIONS. THE
RISING CASES OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES IS EXPECTED TO BOOST
THE DEMAND FOR VACCINES USED FOR THE PREVENTION OF THESE

INFECTIOUS DISEASES WHICH IN TURN IS EXPECTED TO BOOST
THE GROWTH OF THE MARKET DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD.
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES FOR EXPANDING VACCINATION COVERAGE

IS LIKELY TO BOOST THE DEMAND FOR VACCINES GLOBALLY.

32 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

BIOSPECIAL DESPITE SIGNIFICANT GROWTH
OPPORTUNITY & HUGE DEMAND, BARRING
A FEW MAJOR COMPANIES, ASIA’S
VACCINE INDUSTRY HAS NOT GROWN
SUBSTANTIALLY. IN THE LAST 25 YEARS,
MANY VACCINE PLAYERS IN ASIA WERE
EITHER CLOSED OR SOLD TO OTHER FIRMS.
VACCINE MANUFACTURERS IN INDIA AND
CHINA SUFFER FROM LOW FUNDING AND
DO NOT HAVE TECHNOLOGIES TO TRULY
COMPETE GLOBALLY IN NOVEL VACCINE
R&D. THE VACCINE R&D IN ASIA IS STILL IN
ITS INFANCY.

Supply and demand scenario international pharmaceutical companies. The long-
term investment and high risk of poor return keep
The revenue growth opportunity in vaccines looks most venture capitalists at bay.
far more promising when compared to the overall
market for pharmaceuticals. Revenues earned by Though the main vaccine markets in terms of
vaccines manufacturers worldwide reached $27.6 value are located in developed countries, the biggest
billion in 2015 according to Kalorama Information, demand for vaccines come from the rest of world.
up 11 per cent from $24.7 billion in 2014, as sales Though slow, Asia’s vaccine industry is on an upward
in all segments expanded. This is, by Kalorama’s graph. There are many indigenous Asian players in
estimate, at least five to ten times the revenue growth their early phase of maturation and it will not be long
rate of the overall pharmaceutical market in recent before their products take on market shares starting
years. Vaccines, in the past, have been viewed as from South East Asia region and Africa region. In
commodities with low rewards, but Hepatitis B order to make Asia’s vaccine industry a success it
vaccine and anti-cancer immunotherapeutics have is important that more collaborative public private
changed the whole vaccine market analysis. The partnership (PPP) models are established between
initial market price for Hepatitis B vaccine was $ 200 the academia, government and industry. If Asian
for three doses. nations build strong vaccine industry, then continent
will have a huge economic growth engine through
But despite significant growth opportunity and manufacturing valuable biological products.
huge demand, barring a few major companies, Asia’s
vaccine industry has not grown substantially. In “Asia would emerge as the strongest hub for
the last 25 years, many vaccine players in Asia were vaccine manufacturing, led by a tier 1 set of countries
either closed or sold to other vaccine manufacturers. comprising of India-China-South Korea-Indonesia.
Vaccine manufacturers in India and China suffer This tier 1 set would challenge the duopoly status of
from low funding and do not have technologies to big pharma on the contemporary vaccines such as
truly compete globally in novel vaccine research and Pneumo Conjugate, Mening Conjugate, HPV etc. A
development. The vaccine R&D in Asia is still in its tier 2 set of Asian countries would transition into
infancy. Also, the vaccine markets are complex, there serious vaccine manufacturing in association with tier
are individual markets for individual vaccines based 1 countries such as Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam,
on diseases prevalent in that region, and this adds to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Asia
the challenge. Major industrial constraints, such as will develop its own indigenous vaccines especially
complexity of the vaccine development and clinical for diseases endemic in the region like the way it’s
trials; high R&D investment and production costs; already happening for EV71, HEV etc,” Sinovac
large investments in upgrading and building new spokesperson concludes.
manufacturing facilities had prevented small and
middle-size vaccine companies to compete with big Aishwarya Venkatesh
[email protected]

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 33

SPECIAL

CANCER BURDEN
on rise IN CHINA
Cancer is a major public health concern in
With rise in cancer burden in China China. According to the National Central
since 2000, to ease the financial Cancer Registry of China, there were around
4•3 million new cancer cases and 2•8 million cancer
burden of patients with cancer and deaths in China in 2015. In 2014, there were about
reduce the price of costly cancer 3.8 million new cancer cases and 2.3 million cancer
deaths in China. The age-standardized cancer
drugs, the Chinese government has incidence and mortality rates were 190.63/100,000
vowed to take immediate steps and 106.98/100,000, respectively. The overall cancer
to exempt tariffs on imported burden in China has been increasing since 2000.
cancer drugs, initiate centralised
government negotiations and “Lung cancer is a major public health issue
in China, representing the highest incidence
procurement of cancer drugs, and and mortality among all cancers in the country,”
incorporate more cancer drugs says Professor Yi-Long Wu, a tenured director of
into the catalogue of medical Guangdong General Hospital and the chair of the
Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group.
insurance reimbursement. China
has also reached an agreement There are approximately 781,000 new cases of
with India on reduction of tariffs lung cancer diagnosed in China each year, equalling
on the import of Indian medicines, approximately 15 new cases every 10 minutes. This
number continues to rise, with more than 800,000
particularly cancer drugs. new cases and 700,000 new deaths projected by
2020. Survival rates vary depending on the stage
and type of the cancer when diagnosed, with the
five-year survival rate lower than 5 per cent. For
patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer
and non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer
(NSCLC) without any known driver genetic mutation,
treatment measures are quite limited. Therefore,
long-term survival is the most urgent need of
those patients.

Chinese government has taken up many
steps to support the patient population.
Some of the initiatives include formation
of a comprehensive network on cancer
prevention and control;
building up a nationwide
population-based

34 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

SPECIAL

cancer surveillance; expanding the population Cancer Research Annual Meeting in April 2018. In
coverage of cancer surveillance, and improving the November 2017, the trial was stopped early because
data quality. With an increase in aging population the independent Data Monitoring Committee
and persistence of unhealthy life styles among concluded that Opdivo demonstrated superior
Chinese, there will be an unavoidable cancer burden overall survival compared with chemotherapy. The
in China. application later received priority review by the
Centre for Drug Evaluation in China.
To meet the requirements of cancer patients, the
China Food and Drug Administration on June 15, Bristol Myers Squibb further pointed out in a
has given approval to Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo release that in CheckMate -078, Opdivo reduced the
(nivolumab injection) for the treatment of locally risk of death by 32 per cent versus chemotherapy,
advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer the primary endpoint (HR 0.68; 97.7% CI: 0.52
(NSCLC) after prior platinum-based chemotherapy in to 0.90; p=0.0006), in patients with previously
adult patients without EGFR or ALK genomic tumor treated NSCLC. Both efficacy and safety of Opdivo
aberrations. in this patient population were consistent with the
results of the landmark global CheckMate -017
This is China’s first and only PD-1 inhibitor and -057 studies. In CheckMate -078, Grade 3-4
and is the only Immuno-Oncology (I-O) agent treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) occurred
to demonstrate a survival benefit compared with less frequently with Opdivo versus docetaxel (10%
chemotherapy, based on data from the pivotal Phase vs. 48%). Discontinuations due to Grade 3-4 TRAEs
3 CheckMate -078 trial, in which 90 per cent of the were also less frequent with Opdivo (3%) than with
patients enrolled were Chinese. docetaxel (5%).

The company noted that the approval is based Murdo Gordon, executive vice president and chief
on results from the Phase 3 CheckMate -078 trial of commercial officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, shared,
Opdivo versus chemotherapy among patients with “With approvals in more than 60 countries, Opdivo
previously treated NSCLC, findings from which is a global standard of care for previously treated
were presented at the American Association for

Will China
cut tariffs
on anti-
cancer
drugs
from
India?

Hua Chunying, Spokesperson, Chinese Foreign Ministry

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 35

SPECIAL

NSCLC, and we are proud to bring this foundational 7,500 cancer deaths per day estimated in China,
I-O treatment option to patients and physicians we will continue to work with urgency to integrate
in China. We look forward to continuing to work the unmet treatment needs of Chinese patients in
together with the CNDA to usher in additional our ongoing I-O global development program, with
healthcare innovations in China, with our shared the goal of bringing them innovative therapies as
commitment to moving quickly to help patients.” quickly as possible.”

Professor Yi-Long Wu, a tenured director of Improving accessibility and availability
Guangdong General Hospital and the chair of the According to The Lancet report published on May
Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group said, “With most 12, 2018 titled ‘Cancer drugs in China: affordability
lung cancer patients already at an advanced stage and creativity’, “Improving the accessibility and
when diagnosed, prolonging survival is an important availability of effective treatments is key to tackling
goal. The approval of Opdivo as the first I-O agent in the huge burden of cancer in China. However, in
China is a significant therapeutic advance and is great terms of local affordability of cancer drugs, China
news for patients and clinicians alike, offering for the emerges as one of the countries with the least
first time an I-O treatment option that is proven to affordable prices in the world.”
extend survival in predominantly Chinese patients The report notes that to ease the financial
with previously treated NSCLC.” burden of patients with cancer and reduce the price
of costly cancer drugs, the Chinese government
“We are thrilled to be able to bring this proven has vowed to take immediate steps to exempt
treatment, Opdivo, which has demonstrated tariffs on imported cancer drugs as of May 1,
superior overall survival versus chemotherapy in initiate centralised government negotiations and
previously treated NSCLC patients in China, and procurement of cancer drugs, and incorporate more
are committed to working with stakeholders to cancer drugs into the catalogue of medical insurance
ensure patients can quickly access Opdivo,” said reimbursement. Furthermore, as the vice director of
Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of development, the National Health Commission Zeng Yixin pointed
Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “With more than

“Avery popular film called Dying to Survive Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade expansion through
that is on show these days in China touches exchange of tariff concessions among developing
on the issue of anti-cancer drugs from country members of the Asia Pacific Region, in place
India. China and India are witnessing a growth in since 1975. APTA is a Preferential Trade Agreement,
pharmaceutical trade, and the two sides are in sound under which the basket of items as well as extent
communication on opening the Chinese market of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade
to drugs from India and conducting dialogue and negotiating rounds which are launched from time
cooperation between the two sides' pharmaceutical to time. The 4th Round of trade negotiations were
industries. The relevant departments have formulated formally concluded and signed by the Ministers of the
specific measures on promoting China-India member countries during the meeting of the APTA
pharmaceutical trade cooperation and granting greater Ministerial Council on 13th January, 2017.
access to drugs from India. We believe that stronger
pharmaceutical trade cooperation will contribute It may be noted that Prime Minister of India,
to the wellbeing of the people in our two countries,” Narendra Modi and President of China, Xi Jinping
says Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry during their first Informal Summit in Wuhan, China
Spokesperson on July 9, 2018. on April 28, 2018, agreed that as two major countries
and emerging economies, India and China, given
Hua Chunying further points out that the outcome their vast developmental experiences and national
document of the fourth round of negotiations capacities, should join hands to take lead in offering
on tariffs reduction under the Asia Pacific Trade innovative and sustainable solutions to challenges
Agreement (APTA) took effect on July 1. Six members faced by humankind in the 21st century. These
of the Agreement, namely China, India, Korea, Sri include combating diseases, coordinating action for
Lanka, Bangladesh and Laos, agreed to cut tariffs disaster risk reduction and mitigation, and ushering
on a total of 10,312 items with an average margin of digital empowerment. They agreed to pool together
preference of 33 per cent. their expertise and resources in these areas and
create a global network dedicated to these challenges
APTA is an initiative under the United Nations for the larger benefit of humanity.
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the

36 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

SPECIAL

CANCER STATISTICS IN CHINA, 2015

● It is predicted that there will be about among females.
4,292,000 newly diagnosed invasive cancer ● In contrast, the mortality rates since 2006 have
cases in 2015 in China, corresponding to an
average of almost 12,000 new cancer diagnoses decreased significantly for both males (21.4 per
each day. cent per year) and females (21.1 per cent per
year).
● Among men, the five most common cancers ● Despite this favourable trend, the number of
are: cancers of the lung, stomach, esophagus, cancer deaths substantially increased (73.8
liver, and colorectum, which together account per cent increase) during the corresponding
for about two-thirds of all cancer cases. period because of the aging and growth of the
population.
● Among women, the most common cancers ● Much cancer and many cancer deaths in China
are breast, lung and bronchus, stomach, could be prevented through reducing the
colorectum, and esophagus, accounting for prevalence of risk factors, while increasing
nearly 60 per cent of all cases. Breast cancer
alone is expected to account for 15 per the effectiveness of clinical care delivery,
cent of all new cancers in women in particularly for those living in rural areas
China. and in disadvantaged populations.
● The largest contributor to avoidable
● It is estimated that about cancer deaths in China is chronic
2,814,000 Chinese will die from infection, which is estimated to
cancer in 2015, corresponding to account for 29 per cent of cancer
over 7500 cancer deaths on average deaths, predominantly from stomach
per day.
cancer (H. pylori), liver cancer (HBV and
● The five leading causes of cancer death HCV), and cervical cancer (HPV).
among both men and women in China are ● Tobacco smoking accounted for about one-
cancers of the lung and bronchus, stomach, quarter of all cancer deaths in China; yet over
liver, esophagus, and colorectum, accounting one-half of adult Chinese men were current
for about three-quarters of all cancer deaths. smokers in 2010, and smoking rates in
adolescents and young adults are still rising.
● Similar to the incidence rates, the mortality ● Outdoor air pollution, considered to be among
rate for all cancers combined is substantially the worst in the world, indoor air pollution
higher in men than in women (165.9 vs 88.8 through heating and cooking using coal and
per 100,000) and in rural areas than in urban other biomass fuels, and the contamination of
areas. soil and drinking water mean that the Chinese
population is exposed to many environmental
● For all cancers combined, the incidence rates carcinogens.
were stable during 2000 through 2011 for
males (10.2 per cent per year), whereas they
increased significantly (12.2 per cent per year)

Source: CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (Published on January 26, 2016)

out, a long-term strategy of controlling cancer drug pressure on domestic pharmaceutical companies
pricing further will be built up through four major due to more tense competition. However, it will be
areas: encouraging new cancer drug discovery and crucial to seize the great opportunity of China's long-
development, accelerating the review and approval term plan of greater investment in drug discovery,
procedures for new medicines, reducing circulation to strengthen China's own vibrant and innovative
costs, and improving cancer diagnosis and rational pharmaceutical industry, in collaboration with
drug use in China. different stakeholders, particularly academia, and
to develop affordable and effective medicines for
Cancer care remains a massive burden on China's patients in China. Even without tariffs, the price
health system. The sales of anticancer medicines of imported drugs is still likely to be unsustainable
in China exceed 120 billion yuan ($19•12 billion) (as elsewhere in the world) without local Chinese
per year, half of which are generated by imported solutions.
medicines that China heavily relies on.
Narayan Kulkarni
The Lancet continues to add that understandably, [email protected]
there is concern that the tariff cut could put some

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 37

SPECIAL

India’s SPARK to
synergize science activity

To take early stage successes to commercialization, the government of India

proposes SPARK (Sustainable Progress through Application of Research and

Knowledge) programme to initiate the synergizing of science activity in India.

The past few years have been transformational regulatory issue, and I am sure things will fall into
for the Indian biotech and medtech startup place very soon. This is applicable not only for the
ecosystem. India now stands at a threshold of medtech sector but for other sectors as well. The
explosion with more than 500 ventures passionately government needs to be pushed and partnered with
advancing innovation to markets. However, a to get clarity on the regulatory pipeline. Things are
significant continuing impediment is the regulatory much more sorted at the regulatory end with the
headwinds and timeline in accessing raw materials, engineering based startups on the other hand. So we
getting timely product approvals and penetrating need to set up groups and move in the right direction
markets. in order to get more clarity on the regulatory
aspects”.
Within the subset of startups that are pursuing
more complex and globally benchmarkable During the session, he also elaborated upon
innovation, there are ventures engaged in the funding issues biotech startups usually face.
therapeutics for rare diseases, next generation As discussed in our previous edition, availability of
solutions such as gene therapy and emerging areas equity funding is comparatively easier for medical
of regenerative medicine. While India does have a devices and diagnostics ventures while drug discovery
guideline for stem cell therapies, there is significant ventures have greater hardships finding first two
gap in the overall landscape of possibilities under rounds of equity capital with the appropriate risk
regenerative medicine as well as gene therapy. profile.

The Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), “The SPARK (Sustainable Progress through
an initiative of Karnataka Biotechnology and Application of Research and Knowledge) programme
Information Technology Services (KBITS), has been proposed to initiate the synergizing of
Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of science activity in India. Under this programme,
Karnataka with a liberal funding support from we are forming a committee chaired by me and the
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government Cabinet Secretary, to take early stage successes to
of India, had recently organized a meeting with a commercialization. We intend to list the whole set of
number of biotech entrepreneurs. The highlight of early successes and in each case connect them with
the session was an elaborate interaction with Prof K potential investors. We plan to pick all successful
VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to startups for national laboratories, incubators and
the Government of India. associate them with a group of people to help prepare
their dossier.
Addressing the major concerns of biotech
entrepreneurs Prof VijayRaghavan said, “MedTech The group will point out the strengths and
regulations now are technically with the Drug weaknesses of each startup and help them in moving
Controller, for some complex sort of reasons. If ahead. So accordingly we will help the startups to
some technology is classified equivalent to a drug, shop around for the potential investors. We are trying
then the Drug Controller regulates it. But MedTech to prepare a structure through SPARK in order to
is supposed to be under the pharma ministry, in help the startups. In line with this, we are working
terms of promotional medtech. It is funded by with Invest India, a non-profit venture set up under
DBT, Department of Science & Technology (DST) the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,
and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government
So, overall it has actually become a zoo. Yes, the of India”, shared Prof K VijayRaghavan.
regulatory aspect is completely unclear. We have
recently had a meeting in order to resolve this Dr Manbeena Chawla
[email protected]

38 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

Q&A

“We have a huge demand
supply gap of almost all
resources in healthcare”

« -- available in desktop and mobile versions-- which
provides evidence based clinical information to
Shireesh Sahai, doctors which support them in treating patients. It
CEO – India-South is an evidence-based, physician-authored clinical
Asia, Wolters Kluwer decision support system to help clinicians make
the right point-of-care decisions. This app can
According to a recent study conducted by help doctors and clinicians find out answers to any
the Harvard School of Public Health, question they might have.
as many as 5.2 million medical errors
and adverse drug reactions have been noted in How do you foresee the growth of digital health
India. With the increasing patient load in both market in India?
government and private hospitals it is becoming The adoption of information technology in
very important to keep pace with the demands of healthcare is increasing rapidly. More and more
clinically examining patients and also ensuring hospitals are adopting hospital information systems
that the diagnosis is correct. Considering the and clinical decision support systems such as
need to support physicians to take appropriate UpToDate in India. Digital connectivity enables
decisions and to enhance patient care in India, accessibility on the move, improves quality and
Wolters Kluwer, the Netherlands-based company efficiency of healthcare. In a country where people
announced the launch of UpToDate Advanced with chronic diseases do not go for treatment to save
recently in India. BioSpectrum spoke to Shireesh on readmission costs, digital health could help in
Sahai, CEO – India-South Asia, Wolters Kluwer a large way. And also, the players in digital health
to get more information about this application. strive to provide high quality information. Such
Edited excerpts; factors serve as major growth drivers for the digital
health market in India.
How can Clinical Decision Support ensure
better healthcare delivery? India has been reported to be the 2nd largest
Clinical Decision Support systems use advanced
algorithms to provide doctors with the information INDIA MUST NOW CONSIDER THE USE OF
they need to make the right decisions at the point of ADAPTIVE LEARNING AND MOBILE-BASED
care delivery. This obviously reduces medical errors LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN MEDICAL
and lowers healthcare cost. Practicing physicians EDUCATION WHICH WILL HELP MEDICAL
need to seek answers for clinical questions during PROFESSIONALS STAY COMPLETELY
patient care but are often pressed for time. Many use UPDATED AND RELEVANT. COUNTRIES
social platforms such as WhatsApp to get opinions THAT SCORE HIGH ON HEALTHCARE
from their peers, but such opinions may not be the METRICS INEVITABLY INVEST IN
most accurate. TECHNOLOGY THAT HELPS HEALTHCARE
SPECIALISTS MAKE EVIDENCE BASED
UpToDate is a Clinical Decision Support tool CLINICAL DECISIONS AND THEREBY
RENDER MORE EFFECTIVE SERVICES.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 39

Q&A

user of digital technology in the world. People are THE UNION GOVERNMENT HAS REALIZED
turning to mobile devices for almost everything. THIS NEED AND IS WORKING TOWARDS
Such a situation serves as the ideal condition for HEALTHCARE REFORMS. THE GOVERNMENT
the healthcare industry to venture into for a long HAS COMPREHENDED THE POTENTIAL
time. With the hassle-free, low-cost and high-quality OF DIGITAL HEALTH THAT IT CAN REDUCE
performance, digital health is surely the next big MEDICAL ERRORS AND COST OF CARE.
thing to happen to Indian healthcare industry. HOWEVER, HEALTHCARE REFORMS,
ESPECIALLY WHEN IT INVOLVES SETTING
What is the hold of Wolters Kluwer in India UP OF THE DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE
LIKE HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGES,
currently? What are your plans ahead? TYPICALLY TAKE TIME. SO IT IS
Wolters Kluwer India is a 100 per cent subsidiary IMPORTANT FOR INDIA TO IDENTIFY THE
of Wolters Kluwer N.V., and it has been 10 years INTERVENTIONS WHICH ARE EASY TO DO
since we have direct presence in India and I am AND ALSO PROVIDE POSITIVE OUTCOMES.
glad that we could provide enough information
to the experts. Most of the healthcare institutions digital health that it can reduce medical errors
are subscribing to our various resources ranging and cost of care. However, healthcare reforms,
from reference books to journals to softwares and especially when it involves setting up of the digital
services. infrastructure like health information exchanges,
typically take time. So it is important for India to
More than one million clinicians across 174 identify the interventions which are easy to do and
countries refer to our app when it comes to evidence- also provide positive outcomes.
based medical knowledge. With the increasing digital
penetration in India, UpToDate has a fast growing What is the current digital health care trend in
customer base which includes around 10,000 the South Asian countries like Bangladesh and
specialists across India. Sri Lanka?
In Sri Lanka and in Bangladesh population based
We have a huge demand supply gap of almost district health information systems ( DHIS 2)
all the resources in healthcare, be it hospital beds, is being implemented, this allows the decision
doctors or nurses. All this can only be improved by makers to have real-time disease burden and
opening up new institutions and expanding current management information that enables informed
infrastructure and retaining these qualified resources decision and programme management. Also in both
within country. At the same time we need to enhance these countries a number of mhealth initiatives in
clinical skill at all levels and continuing education maternal, child health, immunization and nutrition
should be a must for all healthcare professionals monitoring are being undertaken. Sri Lanka also runs
throughout their practice. This will help in delivering a number of disease registries that allows clinicians to
standardized health outcomes. track outcomes over a period of time.

What are your views in the light of the What opportunities do you foresee in the
healthcare and clinical diagnosis market in Asia
announcement of the Bharat Ayushman in the coming years?
The high burden of both non communicable diseases
Programme? and infectious diseases will need comprehensive
Well yes, the Bharat Ayushman Programme is point of care diagnostics and embedded clinical
surely a big thing. It necessitates investment in decision systems.
healthcare delivery infrastructure and medical
education because these are very important for Dr Manbeena Chawla
insurance outlays to be used optimally. Hence, India [email protected]
must now consider the use of adaptive learning
and mobile-based learning technologies in medical
education which will help medical professionals stay
completely updated and relevant. Countries that
score high on healthcare metrics inevitably invest
in technology that helps healthcare specialists make
evidence based clinical decisions and thereby render
more effective services.

The Union government has realized this need
and is working towards healthcare reforms. The
government has comprehended the potential of

40 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

Q&A Pl tell us about your company.
Our company was founded in 2002. We have three
Cindy Liu, Sales Manager, manufacturing facilities, two of them are covering
Tina Van, Sales Manager, an area of more than 60,000 square meters. We
Shijiazhunag Xinfuda Medical Packaging have over 200 people working at two of the three
production facilities. We produce plastic containers
“Our next for medicines used for humans as well as animals.
plan is to We are specializes in designing & manufacturing a
wide range of ready-made & custom made plastic
operate packaging products for pharmaceutical and other
on USFDA industries. Our production capacity is to produce
3,000,000 bottles & containers per week. In order
norms” to ensure quality of the products we have third party
quality check.
Hebei Xinfuda Plastic Products Co., Ltd.
(XFD), founded in 2001, specializes in What types of plastic products you
manufacture for pharmaceutical industries?
designing, manufacturing and exporting a We have several products. Our products categories
wide range of ready-made & custom-made are food & healthcare packaging, effervescent tablet
plastic packaging products for pharmaceutical packaging, health care bottles and containers with
and other industries. As a professional leading child proof cap, disposable plastic cup, Cydo Olefin
production enterprise in North China, XFD Polymer (COP) vials and dry powder inhalers. The
has ISO 9001:2008 International Quality actual products portfolio includes Oral Bottles,
Management System Certification. Whilst Disinfectant Bottles, Vaccine Bottles, Twin-neck
it received the Registration License of Drug bottle, Eye Dropper Bottles, Essential Oil Bottles,
Packaging Materials and Containers from the Spray Bottles, Desiccant packaging, Paste syringe,
State Food and Drug Administration, it is the Refilled Syringes, Sealed bottles, 96-well Plates,
Standing Director Member of China Veterinary ELISA Plates. In addition we have professional
Drugs Association, China Pharmaceutical Design & Development Department that can design
Packaging Association and China Alliance all kinds of plastic bottles and containers
according to a customer’s
of Green Industry. In an interaction with specific
BioSpectrum Cindy Liu, Sales Manager,
and Tina van, Sales Manager, Shijiazhunag
Xinfuda Medical Packaging shared the plans of

the company. Edited excerpts;

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 41

Q&A

requirement. We always strive to innovate and selling our products overseas from 2011. Our
provide superior quality products, just-in-time products are sold in Europe, USA, Canada, Israel,
delivery, and most competitive pricing. Relying on Australia, France, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia and
the advanced equipment, effective quality control, UK. Approximately 15 per cent of our products are
good management and well-trained employees exported. In the animal pharma segment, top 10
who work efficiently under a safe and healthy companies in the segment are our clients.
environment, our products are widely recognized.
The products with child proof cap are gaining What are the future plans of the company?
importance in China since this keeps children safe We will be focusing more now on functional
from medicines. We have imported machines and packaging solutions in medicines for pharmaceutical
imported materials. With that we produces over 45 companies and for the patients. We will focus on the
million pieces of different types of products each way to solve the problems they all are facing to make
year, 25 million from one production facility and 10 the medicines safer and to make the people healthier.
million each from two others. We will not only produce the normal plastic bottles
just for storage and transportation, but we will also
Which are your competitor companies? provide more value pharma companies and humans.
There are many companies in China making similar Our R&D is searching for very different solutions
types of products. But for certain types of products for our clients, so that we can figure out which way
there is no competition. We are the only company is more important, how further value can be added.
producing those products in China. We have five years plan. In overseas market this year
we will go to North America and Europe. For North
What is total market size of these type of America we have Vietnam database. We already
products? What is the market share of your have five types of products in the USA market. We
company? will focus more on very competitive products and
I am not aware about the total Chinese market size making pharmaceutical companies to be stricter
for these type of products. But, our market share is for their packaging. In China there are many small
about 85 per cent in the animal packaging segment companies in pharmaceutical and pharma packaging
and about 15% in the human medicines packaging sectors. More and more Chinese pharmaceutical
segment. It is because our company began its companies are operating on USFDA conditions. So, it
production first by products in the animal segment. is progressing. Now, we also will be applying USFDA
So, we are there in animal segment right from the norms and European standards. We have already
started taking some steps in that direction like having
beginning of our company. But in human 3rd party check and certification for quality.
segment we came later.
Milind Kokje
Do you export your [email protected]
products?
Yes. We started

42 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

SCIENCE NEWS

Korean team develops detector for bad breath

A team of scientists in South Korea has developed a sensor that detects
bad breath. The sensor detects tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas, the
compound responsible for bad breath, in human exhalations.

The team made use of lead (II) acetate, a chemical that turns brown when
exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas. On its own, the chemical is not sensitive
enough to detect trace amounts of hydrogen sulfide in human breath,
at concentrations below two parts per million. Hence, the researchers
anchored lead acetate to a three-dimensional (3D) nanofiber web, providing
numerous sites for lead acetate and hydrogen sulfide gas to react.

By monitoring a color change from white to brown on the sensor
surface, the researchers could detect hydrogen sulfide at concentrations
as low as 400 parts per billion with the naked eye, in only one minute. In
addition, the color-changing sensor detected traces of hydrogen sulfide
added to breath samples from ten healthy volunteers, validating the
specificity of the sensor in a real-life setting.

Chinese researchers design Experts develop
Velcro sensor for cancer cells
low cost sensor
A group of researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences and
Peking University Third Hospital has developed a new type of to monitor health
sensor that acts like Velcro for prostate cancer cells, sticking
them to a modified frosted glass slide, like those used in science An international team of researchers
classes, so that they can be identified from blood samples. from the University of Cambridge and
According to the researchers, the low-cost method could help King Abdullah University of Science
doctors better diagnose and monitor the disease. and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi
Arabia has developed a low-cost sensor
In men with prostate cancer, some tumor cells exit the made from semiconducting plastic that
prostate gland and circulate in the blood. Detecting these cells can be used to diagnose or monitor
could enable diagnosis at an earlier stage or help doctors assess a wide range of health conditions,
whether treatment is effective. However, because circulating such as surgical complications or
tumor cells are present in very small numbers, finding them can neurodegenerative diseases. The sensor
be a challenge. When the researchers tested blood samples from can measure the amount of critical
prostate cancer patients, the device detected as few as 10 tumor metabolites, such as lactate or glucose
cells in 1 milliliter of blood. that are present in sweat, tears, saliva
or blood, and, when incorporated into
a diagnostic device, could allow health
conditions to be monitored quickly,
cheaply and accurately. The new device
has a far simpler design than existing
sensors, and opens up a wide range of
new possibilities for health monitoring
down to the cellular level. According to
the researchers, the sensor can be easily
modified to detect other metabolites,
such as glucose or cholesterol by
incorporating the appropriate enzyme,
and the concentration range that the
sensor can detect can be adjusted by
changing the device’s geometry.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 43

SCIENCE NEWS

Researchers collaborate to
construct artificial nerves

Researchers from Stanford The artificial mechanosensory
University, US, and Seoul
National University (SNU), South nerve consists of three essential
Korea, have developed artificial
mechanosensory nerves using components: mechanoreceptors
flexible organic devices to emulate
biological sensory afferent nerves. (resistive pressure sensors),

The team of has created neurons (organic ring oscillators)
artificial mechanosensory nerves
that mimic the signal processing and synapses (organic
and functionality of biological
systems. These organic devices electrochemical transistors).
are flexible, tunable and can be
printed on a large area at low cost. The pressure information from IISc scientists

artificial mechanoreceptors can use asthma

be converted to action potentials drug for

through artificial neurons. treating TB

Multiple action potentials can be A team of scientists at the
Indian Institute of Science
integrated into an artificial synapse (IISc), Bengaluru, India
has found out that a drug
to move biological muscles. (Pranlukast) currently
used for treating asthma
Scientists in Singapore use is more effective against
nanoparticles to study wound scarring tuberculosis (TB). Studies
carried out in mice models
A group of scientists at Nanyang After the nanoparticles have found the drug to be
Technological University, penetrated the skin cells for 24 effective in treating TB
Singapore (NTU Singapore) has hours, a handheld fluorescence both when used alone and
developed a new way of seeing microscope is used to look in combination with an
when heavy wound scars are for signals given out by the anti-TB drug rifampicin.
forming, and thereby providing nanoparticles’ interaction with According to the scientists,
doctors the chance to intervene. target biomarkers inside the skin the drug uses a unique
Clinicians currently find it cells. If fluorescence signals are strategy to target the TB
difficult to predict how scars will detected, they indicate abnormal bacteria and is therefore
develop following surgery or after scarring activity and preventive quite unlikely to cause any
a burn wound, without resorting action can be taken to hopefully adverse side-effects either
to invasive testing. avoid heavier scarring. to the human cells or the
beneficial bacteria found
The new detection method The team has filed a patent in humans. The team plans
uses thousands of nanoparticles application based on this to test the drug on guinea
called NanoFlares, which have technology through NTU’s pigs in a few months’
DNA strands attached to their innovation and commercialisation time. The efficacy will be
surfaces like a ball of spikes. arm, NTUitive, and plan to tested by using it alone
These nanoparticles are applied license out the technology for and in combination with
to closed wounds using a cream. commercialisation. rifampicin. If encouraging
results are obtained from
guinea pig studies, the team
intends to straight away
conduct Phase II trials in
humans, as the safety of the
drug is already proven.

44 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

ACADEMICS NEWS

KIHT signs research agreement with JBI

The Kalam Institute of AP MedTech Zone (AMTZ) will centre, Indian Biomedical
Health Technology (KIHT), a now host the JBI along with cluster Skill Consortium, WHO pre-
Department of Biotechnology, of 250 manufacturing units for qualified cell, Directorate of
India funded institute in the common facilities such as electro- Radiation and Medical Devices
domain of medical technology, magnetic interference testing, Promotion Council. AMTZ,
has recently signed an biomaterials testing, gamma now under construction in an
agreement with Joanna Briggs irradiation, rapid prototyping area of 270 acres at Nadupuru
Institute (JBI), University in Pedagantyada mandal, is
of Adelaide, Australia. KIHT expected to roll out the first
would focus on medical device manufactured in the
devices and diagnostic and zone under ‘Make in India’
associate with other JBI centres initiative sometime in October.
in this domain of research. All the Common scientific facilities,
studies done in this space would biomaterial testing lab, 3D design,
be submitted to JBI and KIHT prototyping, rapid tooling facility,
would like to involve in supporting gamma irradiation, X-ray/CT scan
and leading JBI in medical devices tube manufacturing and other
and diagnostic space globally. facilities will come up at the zone.

KAN signs industry- NTU launches labs for
academia-government
joint research agreement studying chronic diseases

Research subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., KAN Research Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched
Institute, Inc. has entered into an industry-academia- a suite of new research centres and laboratories to
government joint research agreement with six joint study the chronic diseases that affect Singaporeans.
research organizations concerning the “nucleic Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor,
drug discovery research using novel nucleic acid opened the Population and Community Health
synthesis and delivery technologies” research project Laboratories, which is located at the Lee Kong Chian
represented by KAN. This joint research project was School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) campus in Novena.
selected by the Japan Agency for Medical Research The labs house various centres that work on addressing
and Development (AMED) for its Cyclic Innovation the health concerns of Singaporeans including effective
for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE) grant program. treatment, early prevention and health management.
Believing that creating innovation through industry- The venue is made up of a centre for population health
academia-government collaboration is an important sciences, as well as one for primary healthcare research
initiative, Eisai is currently advancing multiple and innovation. There is also an exercise medicine and
projects, with this project aimed at creating a physiology laboratory. It is also home to the clinical
Japan-originated nucleic acid drug through industry- research centre, which has already embarked on a 20-
academia-government collaboration. This research year in-depth study called Health for Life in Singapore .
project aims to build a proprietary nucleic drug
discovery platform by mobilizing innovative nucleic
acid technologies for delivery primarily developed
by Eisai, artificial nucleic acid synthesis technologies
developed by Osaka University, screening
technologies established by The National Institute of
Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, nucleic
acid production technologies owned by GeneDesign
Inc., and then use this platform to discover nucleic
acid drug candidates with potentially superior safety
and efficacy.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 45

SUPPLIER NEWS

Health technology company Philips Philips, Agilent opens
and the Singapore Institute of SIAM
Advanced Medicine Holdings have open new logistics
opened a new oncology centre to oncology
provide specialised treatment to the centre in hub in China
rising number of people diagnosed Singapore
with cancer in South-east Asia. Built Agilent Technologies
with an investment of close to S$100 and accurate diagnoses of cancer. It Inc. has opened a new
million, the 40,000 sq ft Advanced is part of the Dutch company’s global logistics hub in Shanghai,
Medicine Imaging (AMI) centre in expansion plans into healthcare designed to enable faster
Biopolis is equipped with a range innovation. The facility is also delivery of parts, supplies,
of Philips’ imaging and clinical home to the first Proton Therapy and consumables to
informatics systems to provide timely Centre in Asia-Pacific, scheduled laboratories in China.
to treat its first patient early next The 20,000 square-foot
year. The aim is to help clinicians warehouse in Shanghai
identify cancer early, when it is is the first of five forward
more likely to respond to treatment, stocking locations being
potentially resulting in better health established to improve
outcomes and considerable savings in delivery to customers
treatment costs. throughout the country.
The warehouse will store a
Beckman Coulter enters wide range of consumables
collaboration with UCI and service parts to
support rapidly growing
Beckman Coulter Diagnostics, a global leader in the clinical diagnostics industry, customer needs. The
has embarked on a strategic collaboration with the University of California, facility leverages Agilent’s
Irvine (UCI), one of the first targeted academic partnerships the company global operations model,
envisions around the globe. Beckman Coulter Diagnostics will access UCI and has been set up with
research in innovative diagnostic platforms, life sciences applications, devices, best-in-class systems for
and data analytics to further its delivery performance and
mission of advancing healthcare. UCI rapid response. The new
faculty, students and entrepreneurs centre will enable record
will benefit from Beckman on-time delivery of service
Coulter Diagnostics’ expertise in parts and consumables
accelerating the commercialization to the customers, and is a
of technology and other world-class model for the company’s
UCI breakthroughs. As a first step, future growth. Agilent is
Beckman Coulter will fund Proof proactively taking steps
of Product grants to help UCI’s to ensure continuous
innovations bridge the gap between service to its customers,
the lab and early commercialization. with regional warehouses
Through these grants, Beckman around the world adding
Coulter will determine a specific capabilities and scale to
focus area for university entrepreneurial teams. Additionally, Beckman Coulter create a more flexible
will also seek eligible UCI graduate students to enter its competitive talent and robust distribution
onboarding program, in which they will get the opportunity to work across network.
multiple divisions of the company.

46 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

SUPPLIER NEWS

Samsung develops ultraclear ultrasound

Samsung Electronics has images of their babies and doctors can
developed an ultrasound improve the accuracy of diagnoses by
detecting potential congenital diseases.
image processing engine
with its medical instrument The ultrasound device, WS80A,
subsidiary, Samsung Medison will use the CrystalLive engine and was
that can be utilized to deliver recently released in Korea, Europe and
more accurate diagnoses of the United States. The company expects
fetuses. to enter other markets as well, depending
According to Samsung, the on approval from local authorities.

new solution, CrystalLive, uses The company plans to improve the
the latest image processing accuracy and efficiency of diagnoses
technologies to deliver three- through the CrystalLive engine, and to
dimensional pictures of various speed up the company’s penetration into
university-run hospitals, which call for
organs in fetuses. Mothers high levels of diagnosis.
will be able to receive vivid

GE Healthcare SMT announces start of
S-Flex Registry in Netherlands
to provide
SMT (Sahajanand Medical Technologies Pvt. Ltd.), India’s
FlexFactory to XPH largest manufacturer of cardiovascular medical stents, recently
announced the start of its S-flex Netherlands Registry. The
GE Healthcare will provide China- Netherlands registry is the second in series post the successful
based Xiangxue Pharmaceutical (XPH) completion of the UK registry early this year. Proudly moving
with a FlexFactory for cell therapy. ahead in the global
The system, expected to be operational market, SMT
in March 2019, is a semiautomated plans to enroll
end-to-end manufacturing platform to 1000 patients
help scale up, digitize, and accelerate across 8 centres
manufacturing processes for cell in Netherlands
therapy clinical trials and future with an aim to
commercialization. Cell therapy is evaluate the
one of the most rapidly advancing safety & efficacy of
life science areas for basic cancer Supraflex (DES)
research and clinical applications. in real world all
However, the manufacturing process comer patient
is complex and is a challenge for population requiring coronary intervention.
companies to produce cell therapies
at industrial scale. This project marks Dr A.J.J Ijsselmuiden, principal investigator from Amphia
the first application of FlexFactory for hospital, Breda, Netherlands will be at the helm of the study.
cell immunotherapy drugs based on The enrolment process has already received a positive response
high-affinity and high-specificity T-cell with the admission of its 1st patient on 27th February 2018 at
receptors (TCRs). XPH is focused Amphia hospital, Breda. Currently, four out of the eight centres
on cancer treatments based on a have already started the enrolment process.
new-generation TCR T-cell therapy.
GE Healthcare will also provide The stent has also shown superior clinical result in
XPH with training services, process various sub categories of patients. SMT is confident that
development, flexible cell processing the Netherlands S-Flex study will produce positive and
equipment, and digital connectivity excellent clinical outcomes that physicians expect from a next
solutions. generation DES. This study has further amplified the company’s
commitment to work towards the welfare of patients around the
world through scientific clinical data.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 47

PEOPLE NEWS

Roche MIT Board elects
Kiran-Mazumdar Shaw
appoints as full-term member

James Biocon Ltd, Asia’s premier biopharmaceutical company,
has announced that its Chairperson and Managing
Sabry as Director, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, has been elected as
full-term member of the MIT Corporation, the board of
global trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She is among
partnering the eight full-term members
who will each serve a term of five
head years starting July 1, 2018. She
holds key positions in various
Swiss drug major Roche Group has appointed James educational, government, and
Sabry as Global Head of Partnering, a role that industry positions, including:
combines the partnering functions across the Roche member of high-level expert
pharmaceuticals business, and as a member of the committees of India’s Department
enlarged Corporate Executive Committee. He will be of Biotechnology (DBT) and
based in Basel and assumes his new role on August 1. governing councils of institutes
Sabry currently is Head of Partnering for Genentech of the DBT; non- executive
Research and Early Development or gRED. Sabry chairperson of the Association of
succeeds Sophie KornowskiBonnet, Head of Roche Biotechnology Led Enterprises
Partnering and member of the enlarged Corporate (ABLE), a non-profit pan-India
Executive Committee since 2012, as she leaves the forum representing the Indian
company on July 31 for a new opportunity. Prior biotechnology sector; and member of the governing
to joining Genentech in his current role in 2010, body of the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission. She
Sabry was CEO of a start-up biotech company is on the board of directors of the US-India Business
and was founder and CEO of Cytokinetics, a Council (USIBC) and the board of trustees of the Keck
biopharmaceutical company in the San Francisco Graduate Institute in Claremont, California, U.S. She
Bay Area. He completed his MD at Queen’s University has previously served as a member of the board of
in Canada and then did his medical residency in trustees of the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).
Neurology at Harvard Medical School before further She was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish
attaining a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2006.
California, San Francisco. He continued his research
work as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford Medical
School in the Department of Biochemistry.

GHIT Fund names Hiroki Nakatani as Board Chair

The Global Health Innovative Technology morbidity and mortality of these diseases
Fund (GHIT) has announced the showed trends of decline, with some tropical
appointment of Hiroki Nakatani, MD, PhD, diseases moving toward suppression and
MHPEd, former World Health Organization even eradication in the case of dracunculiasis
(WHO) assistant director-general, to the (guinea worm disease).
fund’s board of directors and named him
its board chair. Nakatani succeeds founding Prior to joining WHO, Nakatani enjoyed
GHIT Board Chair Kiyoshi Kurokawa, who a long career in Japan’s Ministry of Health,
played an instrumental role in the fund’s Labour and Welfare, where he acquired
growth and achievements in its first five extensive technical experience in public
years of operation. health, including immunization, health
promotion, health emergencies and health workforce
Nakatani served as WHO assistant director-general development. His senior-level responsibilities in
from 2007 to 2015, where he led the largest technical the ministry included a focus on administration,
cluster comprising HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria management, and organizational and legislative
and neglected tropical diseases. During his tenure, the development.

48 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

PEOPLE NEWS

JHL Biotech ropes in new CFO Amazon-led

Taiwan based JHL Biotech recently announced the appointment of Ellis joint healthcare
Chu as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Chu most recently served as a
Managing Director and the Head of Greater China at Ion Pacific, an Asia- firm names
focused venture capital merchant bank. Prior to Ion Pacific, he spent the
Atul Gawande
bulk of his career in investment banking, including serving
as Head of China Mergers & Acquisitions at Bank of as CEO
America Merrill Lynch.
He also held senior investment banking Eminent Indian-American
positions at Citigroup, Nomura and Lehman surgeon, writer and public
Brothers advising on transactions across multiple health innovator Atul
sectors, including healthcare. Chu holds a B.S. Gawande has been named
in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern as the Chief Executive
University and an MBA from Columbia Business Officer (CEO) of a new
School. US employee health care
At the same time, JHL Biotech has raised $106 company, a joint venture
million in a convertible bond issuance. Proceeds between Amazon, Berkshire
raised from the issuance will be used for Hathaway and JPMorgan
clinical trials, working capital needs and Chase. Gawande, 52, will
further development of the company’s take over as the CEO of
pipeline of biosimilar treatments. the company from July 9.
The new company will be
JCI appoints John Yoon headquartered in Boston
as MD, Asia-Pacific Region and will operate as an
independent entity that is
Joint Commission International (JCI) announced John Yoon, MBA, free from profit-making
as its managing director of the Asia-Pacific Region. In this role, he is incentives and constraints.
responsible for developing relationships between JCI and health care Gawande practices general
organizations, governments, medical societies and industry clients in and endocrine surgery at
their efforts to reduce risk and improve health outcomes. Brigham and Women’s
Hospital and is Professor
Yoon joined JCI in January 2017. With more than 13 years of at the Harvard TH Chan
experience in health care and finance, he brings a School of Public Health and
wealth of knowledge in leading large-scale projects, Harvard Medical School. He
as well as financial and operational consulting for is the founding executive
health care systems and cross-border businesses. director of the health
systems innovation centre,
Prior to his role with JCI, Yoon was Philips Ariadne Labs and is also is
Healthcare’s regional director of Southeast a staff writer for The New
Asia and head of Philips Capital at the Asia- Yorker magazine.
Pacific office in Singapore. In these positions,
he led large-scale hospital projects, capital asset
financing and turnkey equipment solutions to
governments and health care organizations
across Asia.

He also has managed a multi-
specialty spine surgery and rehabilitation
hospital as the general manager at
Mubadala Development Company in
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,
and served as head of international
business at Wooridul Spine Hospital
in South Korea.

BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com 49

PARTNERSHIPS

India, South Korea sign
5 MoUs in Science & Technology
India and South Korea on July 9 signed five
Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in the The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences
field of Science & Technology. Union Minister and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan
for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and his and the South Korean Minister for Science & ICT, You Young-
South Korean counterpart, You Young Min signed Min signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Science
three MoUs for (i) Programme of Cooperation 2018- & Technology, in New Delhi on July 09, 2018. The Secretary,
21; (ii) Establishment of Future Strategy Group; (iii) Department of Science and Technology, Prof. Ashutosh
Cooperation in Biotechnology & Bioeconomy. The Sharma and the DG, CSIR, Dr. Girish Sahni are also seen.
MoU on Establishment of Future Strategy Group was
signed by Indian Science & Technology and Commerce begin with, both sides will be co-funding collaborative
Ministers, while on the Korean side, it was signed by enterprise-led joint R&D projects covering (i) Digital
Science and ICT and Trade Ministers. Transformation (ii) Future Manufacturing (iii) Future
Utilities and (iv) Health Care.
Two other MoUs were signed between Council of
Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and South It was also agreed to jointly establish two additional
Korean National Research Council for Science & India-Korea Joint Network Centres in areas among
Technology and IIT Mumbai and Korea Institute of ‘Cyber Physical System- Artificial Intelligence, Internet
Science &Technology, to further accelerate future- of Things focused on agriculture, energy, water and
oriented cooperation in their respective sectors. transportation and ‘Semiconductor Electronics’.
The MoUs were signed at the conclusion of the 4th These centres will leverage existing infrastructure and
India-Korea Science & Technology Ministers Steering funding available from the partners on both sides in
Committee Meeting. focused applied research areas, which have potential
towards technology development.
In his opening remarks, Dr Harsh Vardhan said,
“India can lead the newly industrialising countries In the area of biotechnology, New Delhi and
in developing and adopting affordable technologies Seoul have agreed to extend cooperation in health
and processes, and demonstrate a growth path and and medicine, agro-fishery products developed
low energy consumption pattern that would be more with the adoption of biotechnology; environment-
sustainable than that of the industrial countries.” related challenges and developing environmental
and energy sectors through bio-technology, big data
On his part, You Young Min appreciated India’s biotechnology; bio-research resources; synthetic
self-reliance in science and technology, especially in biology, genome editing and microbiomes, etc.
the R&D sector and said that both the countries could
bring synergy between Korea’s strong manufacturing Both countries renewed the Programme of
base and India’s pre-eminence in basic sciences and Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology
software sector. for 2018-21 to augment the cooperation in Science,
Technology and Innovation. You Young Min is part
The two Ministers reviewed bilateral S&T of the official delegation accompanying South Korean
cooperation between the two countries since the President Moon Jae-in, who arrived in New Delhi on
last meeting of the Steering Committee at Seoul July 8 on a three-day visit.
in November 2015. Both Ministers agreed to
establish Indo-Korean Center for Research and
Innovation (IKCRI) in India, which will act as the
hub for systematic operation and management of all
cooperative programmes in research and innovation
between the two countries including innovation &
entrepreneurship and technology transfer.

The Ministers also agreed to establish a Future
Strategic Group, which will build a collaborative
platform that can utilize the potential of both the
countries towards fostering innovation and create
impact which is of social and economic good. To

50 BIOSPECTRUM | AUGUST 2018 | www.biospectrumasia.com

BIO EVENT

India addressing population
stabilization issue within
lifecycle framework: JP Nadda
“We are addressing the issue of population
stabilization in India within the lifecycle The Indian Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, J.P.
framework. As part of this strategy, Nadda looking at the paintings made by children on the theme-
right from the time of conception till the child Small Family, Happy Family, at the inauguration of a workshop
grows, various programs of the ministry cater to the ‘Population Stabilisation: A Right and Responsibility’, on the
needs of immunization of the pregnant mother and occasion of the World Population Day, in New Delhi on July
the child, carrying on till the adolescent stage and 11, 2018. The Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,
further. Also, it is part of the comprehensive strategy Preeti Sudan is also seen.
being implemented through various Ministries and
Departments.” adolescent stage and further is taken care of. Nadda
stated that the programs and interventions under the
This was stated by the Indian Union Minister of umbrella of National Health Mission have played a
Health & Family Welfare JP Nadda as he inaugurated very crucial role in this. As part of the Mission Parivar
the workshop with the theme ‘Population stabilization: Vikas program, the focus is on creating awareness
A right and Responsibility” on the occasion of World about the expanding choices of family planning and
Population Day 2018, in New Delhi on July 11. The on ensuring that the services are easily accessible by
workshop was jointly organized by the Ministry of the people, he stated.
Health & Family Welfare, government of India and
Jansankhya Sthirta Kosh. J P Nadda also gave away ‘Prerna Awards’ to
BPL couples who have broken the stereotype of early
The Union Minister stated that it is a matter of marriage, early childbirth and repeated child birth and
pride for the country that we have been able to achieve have helped change the mind sets of the community.
steady decline in the Total Fertility Rate (TFR). From PRERNA, a Responsible Parenthood Strategy is being
a TFR of 2.9 in 2015 to a TFR rate close to 2.2 in 2018, implemented in seven focus states namely Bihar, Uttar
means India is progressing at a good rate of decline, Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand,
he added. He said that over the last few years, a host Odisha, and Rajasthan.
of new initiatives have been undertaken under the
Family Planning programme such as expanded choice The Union Minister also conferred awards to
of contraceptives, Mission Parivar Vikas in 146 High the winners of the painting competition organised
Priority Districts (HPDs) in the 7 high focus states, by Jansankhya Sthirita Kosh to create awareness
Family Planning Logistics Management Information regarding family stabilisation among young children.
System (FP-LMIS), a comprehensive 360 degree media 2000 schools of NCR had participated in the painting
campaign including a dedicated FP webpage, radio competition. The theme was: Small Family, Happy
chat shows etc. in an effort to take services down to the Family.
last mile. The recent expansion of basket of choices is
poised to further impact the contraceptive coverage in
the country. The government is extensively focussing
on strengthening post pregnancy contraception (post-
partum as well as post-abortion) to meet the unmet
need for family planning specifically in the immediate
post-partum and post-abortion period.

Nadda stated that the population stabilization
efforts have an economic argument attached to it,
as the demographic dividend of the country can be
harnessed only when the population is healthy. The
Lifecycle Framework ensures that the health and
wellbeing of the mother and child, carrying in the


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