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Driving Biomedical Innovation in Hong Kong

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), a pharmaceutical company and a healthcare venture capital firm have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the collaboration and development of biomedicine to enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international I&T hub.

HKSTP has been in close discussion with the two firms for an in-depth collaboration since early this year and subsequently reached a consensus on the MoU terms. The MOU signing ceremony was hosted during the visit of representatives from the pharmaceutical company to the Science Park in August.

The partnership between the three parties in the MoU means a collective effort to co-incubate and co-invest in start-up ventures, enhance collaboration in clinical trials and provide support to contract research organisations (CRO) and contract development manufacturing organisations (CDMO) in areas including autoimmune diseases, anti-ageing, gene and cell therapy, and messenger RNA (mRNA) / small interfering RNA (siRNA).

A fund will also be set up with HKSTP to support collaboration across drug discovery, innovation treatment and other clinical aspects to accelerate the incubation and translation of basic biomedical research in Hong Kong, advancing the city’s mission to be an international I&T hub.

The CEO of HKSTP stated that the Park is will seize the opportunities under the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area to reinforce collaboration with different sectors. The collaboration with the two industry partners will amplify Hong Kong’s R&D strengths and start a new chapter in the city’s biomedical technology development.

With Hong Kong being Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest biotech fundraising hub, Hong Kong’s unique platform and advantages in research capability and clinical resources will continue to be leveraged to accelerate technologies and deliver world-class biotech innovation for the city, he added.

The President and Executive Director of the pharmaceutical company stated that building on the exceptional biomedical foundations and R&D capabilities of Hong Kong, the three parties will leverage their collective advantages and vast resources to collaborate in areas such as incubation and translation of research projects, clinical trials, CRO platforms and provide support to the industry.

He noted that by forming an ‘Innovation Alliance’ with the government sector, tertiary education institutions, the Science Park, pharmaceutical companies and capital markets, the ecosystem will be scaled up with even more effective incubation and translation of basic biomedical research in Hong Kong.

The President of the venture capital firm noted that the company’s vision of Shanghai HealthCare Capital is to build a biomedical innovation investment platform that is based in Shanghai and Hong Kong, connecting with the Yangtze River Delta, while exploring the international market.

He added that the strategic cooperation between the three parties will effectively combine their strengths and develop a translational ecosystem for early R&D products with the government sector, tertiary education institutions, the Science Park, capital markets and corporations, driving state-of-the-art biotechnologies from Shanghai and Hong Kong to the global market.

The global biotechnology market was valued at US$852.88 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to approximately US$3.44 trillion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 17.83% during the forecast period.

Key factors driving the market include favourable government policies, the roll-out of new and advanced products, robust investment in the biotechnology sector, and rising demand for funding through alliance investment in start-up biotechnology companies for adopting new and advanced products are contributing to market growth.

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