DCB: Taiwan sees rapid growth of clinical trials in cell therapies

Source in Chinese: CNA 

Cell therapy and gene therapy, are novel therapeutics which attract great attention amongst global biomedical sectors. Taiwan, where the world’s 12% of clinical trials relevant in cell therapies are taking place, sees a rapid growth in the number of trials that can be a starting point for Taiwan to further develop regenerative medicine- commented by President Chung-Hsiun Wu, who represented the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) in the Advanced in Cell & Gene Therapies conference during Bio Asia Taiwan on 23 July.    

Comparing to that of 12% cell-therapy-related trials, companies in Taiwan specialising in the said field account for merely 2.6% of their biotech counterparts, many of which are in partnership with major hospitals and medical centres to develop cell products. Relaxing of regulations for regenerative medicine in Taiwan also fuels the market for cell therapies- now a battleground for the sectors in pharmaceuticals and emerging biotechnologies.

DCB has been in development of technologies for CAR-T and iPSC therapeutics with Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defence Medical Center. As per DCB, novel therapies involving cells and genes carry out in a way which is different from medications, making it possible to be treatment options. The introduction of gene editing and clinical applications inspired by that also creates momentum to demands and business opportunities. Global markets for cell and gene therapies hit $12.3 billion in 2020, $44.3 billion envisioned in 2026.

Chiou Chyou-Huey, Director General, Department of Industrial Technology under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, remarked in his opening speech that Taiwan has the advantages of ODM/OEM as well as talents to supply the needs for novel therapeutics. Industry clusters that Taiwan has built are proactively working to expand supply chains and manufacturing capacity- from raw materials, cell vectors to smart manufacturing and quality control, for cell and gene therapies. Contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) has been a top priority to the government, Chiou said.

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