Australia-Taiwan Clinical Trial and Biomedical Forum, Highlights Synergies
As leading Asia-Pacific economies in the healthcare sector, Australia and Taiwan represent ideal partners for advanced biotechnology. This year’s Australia-Taiwan Clinical Trial and Biomedical Forum held on 22 July at the Australian Office, welcomed nine biomedical and clinical trial leaders to share their commercial insights. Speakers presented to over 100 attendees who either joined in-person or online.
Deputy Representative, Brent Moore, opened the event by highlighting the critical role of Australia’s clinical trial sector in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Australia currently has more than 25 active clinical trials underway, involving more than 76,000 volunteer patients. Among them, two are for candidate vaccines developed in Australia.
Deputy Director Yuan of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office (BPIPO) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) shared Taiwan’s momentum in medical R&D, including fields such as lung and liver cancer where Taiwan has been recognized globally for their clinical advancements. The BPIPO, who has a mission to support Taiwanese firms develop more medical products and services from research, partnered with the Australian Office for the second consecutive year. The Australian Office and BPIPO are helping to connect leading talents and strengthen the interaction between Taiwan and Australia’s biotechnology industry.
Novotech, the clinical trial service company that won the 2020 “Asia Pacific Biotech CRO Company of the Year,” welcomed CEO John Moller to explain the importance of confidentiality and real-time information sharing. Jane Chiu, Managing Director of CMIC Asia-Pacific, said the clinical trial market in Australia was faster and up to 65% more cost-efficient than competitors in Europe and the United States, thanks to the generous R&D incentives available to Taiwanese pharmaceutical companies. Cosec Corporate Services CEO Blair Lucas shared his experience of providing a full suite of compliance services to assist Taiwanese life sciences companies to run clinical trials in Australia for product development and to access the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive.
Jeffery Wong, Director of Commercial Development Department of Nucleus Network, Australia’s largest Phase one clinical trial company, described the benefits of strategically co-locating their operations with major hospitals. The CEO of Neuroscience Trials, Tina Soulis, delivered a case study of several successful trials for rare neurological diseases and epilepsy in Australia. The data from these cases were successfully transferred to subsequent clinical trials in the United States.
George Yeh, President of Taiwan Liposome Company (TLC), shared his company’s positive experience of clinical trials in Australia. At the same time, Dr. Li-Tzong Chen of the Taiwan Clinical Trial Consortium (TCTC) explained key developments in Taiwan’s clinical trial industry, including the establishment of a clinical trial database for cancer and infectious disease.
Two innovative Australian companies, Microba and Immutep, shared their technology and applications. Dr. Kasra Sabermanesh explained that microbiota could be used as a biomarker in clinical applications. Immutep’s CEO, Mark Voigt, described the clinical research results of immune control mechanisms as cancer treatments.
There will be many applications of digital medicine in clinical trial information collection in the future. Tina Soulis and John Moller stated that it not only ensures the selection and safety of large amounts of data but also reduces the patient’s need to go to the medical center from time to time.
Digital technology integration is anticipated to shape the future of biotechnology. Wearable digital monitoring devices are being embraced by the sector in long-term tracking trials.
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