Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

More than 50 companies have undertaken biomedical science research activities in Singapore. The majority of them are involved in drug discovery and translational research. These decisions reflect industry’s recognition of Singapore’s value as a leading international research and development hub, providing access to talented people from around the world, world-class scientific and clinical infrastructure worldwide, as well as growth opportunities in Asia.

Recent developments include Pfizer’s Multi-Therapeutic Clinical Research Unit and Takeda’s Neuroscience Research Laboratory. The Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases has expanded the scope of its study to include malaria, while Lilly has expanded its research to include cancer, in addition to metabolic diseases. The new Lilly-Singapore Center for Drug Discovery, staffed by 150 scientists, will bring together its first drug discovery teams from Asia, Lilly’s only drug discovery groups dedicated to stem cell biology and epigenesis research.

In addition to its growing base devoted to drug discovery, Singapore has seen a related increase in research and development activity among research and diagnostic instruments companies. This trend will enable Singapore to increase its research and development productivity. Recent announcements include the opening of Fluidigm’s Biomedical Product Development Center focused on the development of next-generation biochips, as well as Qiagen’s announcement to establish a molecular diagnostics research and development center. PerkinElmer also opened its Center of Excellence, which will serve as a hub for its research and development activities in Asia.

Domestic innovation is making headway

In addition to investments made by multinational corporations, Singapore companies and research institutes are beginning to be recognized around the world for their innovative drug research and discovery.

Merlion Pharmaceuticals made it onto FierceBiotech’s 2007 list of biotech companies to watch globally. This is the first time that an Asian company has been included in the annual list of leading emerging companies since the inaugural awards were presented in 2003. In December 2007, the company received the “Best Company in an Emerging Market” award. company within an emerging market) at the annual Scrip Awards ceremony in London. Merlion Pharmaceuticals also has a new antibiotic drug, Finafloxacin, touted as the strongest to date and which has been in clinical trials since September 2007.

S*Bio’s lead cancer drug candidate, SB939, was discovered in Singapore and has been in clinical trials since 2007. SB939 is a novel cancer treatment, and is described as the best in class. In addition, S*Bio has received orphan drug approval from the FDA that allows for clinical trials of a drug designed to treat myeloproliferative syndromes, a condition that can lead to cardiovascular disease and leukemia, if left unchecked. is not processed.

The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) has succeeded in developing an all-in-one rapid gene diagnostic device that enables gene detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) within a short time. of 17 minutes, which is considerably faster than conventional laboratory methods. IBN is actively exploring commercialization possibilities for this very promising product.

Veredus Laboratories has collaborated with STMicroelectronics to market a revolutionary lab-on-chip test kit for molecular diagnostics, the VereFluTM. This portable device, the size of a fingernail, allows the rapid detection of the main types of influenza within two hours; most conventional methods take weeks to achieve this detection.

Building capacity in drug discovery

Mr. Alexis Borisy, Chairman and CEO of CombinatoRx, said, “Singapore presents opportunities for strategic partnerships that help accelerate our work in drug discovery. As part of our efforts to develop new drugs and treatments for infectious diseases, CombinatoRx has established contacts with leading research institutes and companies such as the Genome Institute of Singapore, the Singapore Immunology Network, the interdisciplinary group on infectious diseases of the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology and the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases. Such partnerships are only possible in Singapore, where almost everything is nearby, public and private research laboratories, service providers and teaching hospitals. »

Currently, the hepatitis C virus combination drug is in the late preclinical stage and represents one of the exciting ongoing programs for clinical development in Singapore. »

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