March 5, 2021

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HKSTP and partner launch co-incubation programme

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company have launched a co-incubation programme to support biomedical start-ups in their mission to develop integrated oncology solutions to accelerate innovation in oncology, foster local biomedical technologies and enhance Hong Kong’s status as a leading biomedical innovation hub.

In the last decade, malignant cancerous tumours have been the number one cause of death among all diseases in Hong Kong. Today’s cancer treatment solutions, physical check-ups, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and rehabilitation, are all interrelated. Improvements in either aspect of the patient journey will create huge opportunities to drive better treatment outcomes.

R&D boost for biomedical start-ups and platform to global markets

This programme will attract local and overseas start-ups to embed themselves in the Science Park and develop comprehensive oncology diagnosis and treatment solutions. Successful applicants of the programme will be eligible for a series of professional support from HKSTP, including the funding support of up to HK$6 million, working space and advanced laboratory facilities, as well as leverage HKSTP’s value-added services platform which provides business matching opportunities with strategic partners and potential investors, and talent support.

In the programme, the biopharmaceutical company will support start-ups and assist in connecting them with industry stakeholders and partners, so that they can have a clearer understanding of industry information and related opportunities.

Additionally, the company will also leverage its existing networks with Mainland China and global markets, including the Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus (I·Campus) co-built with local Government and Emerging Markets Health Innovation Hubs, SLUSH and Cambridge Network, to provide platforms for exploring opportunities overseas.

The General Manager of the Hong Kong & Macau branch of the biopharmaceutical company stated that the firm looks forward to its first collaboration with HKSTP, which hopefully will create a vibrant medical ecosystem. Incu-Bio startups, together with a medium-sized medical innovation technology company that already has a certain scale, will be able to make full use of Hong Kong’s professional talents and innovative technologies to promote local medical innovation, helping patients with early treatment, enhancing the effectiveness of treatment and maintaining patients’ quality of life.

The CEO of HKSTP stated that Biomedical technology is a key strategic focus for HKSTP. This partnership between HKSTP and the biopharmaceutical company marks a key milestone in HKSTP’s mission to continually drive Hong Kong’s biomedical technology development.

With the professional knowledge, rich industry experience and global cooperation network from the company, together with its world-class infrastructure and support, HKSTP will be able to attract high potential start-ups to land in Hong Kong, accelerate their growth, bring widespread benefit to cancer patients, and establish Hong Kong as a global leader in biomedical innovation.

A recent article noted that biotechnology groups listed in Hong Kong have tapped funds at a record pace in 2021 as buoyant markets and rising interest from global investors bolster the Asian bourse’s challenge to Wall Street’s hold on the sector.

Follow-on equity issuance by biotech companies listed in the city has hit $4.1 billion this year, according to data provider. That is equivalent to more than 60 per cent of the total for all of 2020. The flurry of follow-on issuance – share sales by groups that are already listed – comes as Hong Kong seeks to break the dominance of New York’s Nasdaq as the global hub for biotech finance. Groups in the industry have raised $6.3 billion via follow-on funding on the US exchange in 2021.

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