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Regional Biotech R&D Centre Launches in HKSTP

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced that a leading global biotech company recently opened Miltenyi Biotec Hong Kong Limited (Miltenyi Biotec Hong Kong) at Hong Kong Science Park. The Hong Kong subsidiary serves as the company’s regional research and development (R&D) centre to transfer its state-of-the-art technologies, products and services in cell and gene therapy to Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and APAC region.

Leveraging Hong Kong Science Park’s world-class infrastructure and thriving ecosystem, the Hong Kong arm of the biotech firm will make its innovative solutions for cell and gene therapy available to patients and customers in China and APAC region.

The General Manager of the firm’s APAC & China arm stated that the company believes in the huge potential biomedical research and cellular therapies have in China and APAC region. There are many excellent scientific institutions and brilliant innovators that could achieve outstanding things using the biotech company’s solutions.

The Head of the Institute for Translational Research at HKSTP noted that The Park has recently launched the Institute for Translational Research to spearhead the translation of biomedical technologies to benefit the public. With the latest addition of the company to the I&T ecosystem, HKSTP foresees unlimited opportunities for collaboration and co-creation with synergies for translational research and development.

Headquartered in Germany, the company has accumulated 30 years of experience in empowering the advancement of biomedical research and enabling cell and gene therapy. They offer more than 17,000 products for research and clinical applications. Cellular therapeutics manufactured using the firm’s technologies are used to treat about 6,000 patients annually.

According to Hong Kong Trade Development Council information, Hong Kong has the highest life expectancy in the world thanks to its advanced healthcare services, and the city expects a more ageing population similar to many developed economies in the coming years. The number of elderly people aged 65 or above is projected to increase from 18.4% of the total population in 2019 to 33.3% in 2039.

An ageing population and increased health consciousness among consumers are boosting the demand for healthcare services and products. According to the Food and Health Bureau, the total public and private health expenditure in Hong Kong is around HK$189.6 billion (US$24.3 billion) in 2019-20, representing 6.8% of GDP.

Hong Kong’s medical and healthcare industry can be divided into two major categories, namely the medical & healthcare equipment and devices sector, and the biotechnology, medical & healthcare services sector.

Hong Kong’s medical and healthcare equipment and devices sector mainly target the household consumer market. In 2020, Hong Kong’s total exports of medical and healthcare equipment increased by 17.5%, after a decrease of 2% in the previous year.

Technology plays a major role in the healthcare industry. Developments such as smart hospitals and telehealth provide innovative and sustainable solutions to challenges arising from the escalating service demand. In the 2018-19 Budget, the HKSAR Government identified biotechnology as one of the four key areas for developing innovation and technology (I&T).

Hong Kong is a popular IPO destination for biotech companies. According to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), Hong Kong was Asia Pacific’s largest IPO centre for biotech companies. It was the second-largest in the world, after the US.

The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) presents a number of opportunities for Hong Kong healthcare businesses. According to the 2020 Policy Address, Hong Kong-registered drugs and medical devices used in Hong Kong public hospitals will be permitted in designated Hong Kong-owned healthcare institutions operating in the nine mainland cities of the GBA.

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