Since 2004 when the Taipei City Government first offered the Taipei Biotech Awards, 15 years have passed. It has now become the biotech award that gives out the highest amount of value and is the only one organized by the government throughout Taiwan and hence is reputed as the Biotech Oscar. There have been 165 winners to date, with the accumulated value of rewards reaching NTD 73.8 million. The award presentation ceremony took place on the fourth floor of the Nangang Exhibition Hall on July 20. Vice Mayor Charles Lin revealed winners of respective awards and gave out prizes worth NTD 6 million in total. This year 13 outstanding biotech businesses and academic and research units won the awards. They specialize in different fields, agriculture, medicinal products, and medical devices. Besides demonstrating the abundant and outstanding innovative technologies in the biotech industry of Taiwan under the unprecedented promotion by the City Government, many of them signify the promising momentum for the biotech industry to enter the international market.
Encouraging and Rewarding Innovative Industrial Value, International Strategies, and Industrial and Academic Highlights
In light of the gradual eye-catching research and development results in the biotech industry that lays the solid groundwork for entering the international market, the 2018 Taipei Biotech Awards continued in the three categories, namely, Innovation, Go-Global, and Technology Transfer Collaboration. A total of 108 applicants competed for the awards from around Taiwan this year. After fierce competition, 13 businesses/units won the awards with their outstanding technology, intellectual property, and market potential. These are exemplary representatives in terms of "innovative value", "international deployment", and "industry-academic link" in industrial, academic, and research circles of biotechnology. They are the best role models in the biotech industry!
Effective Strategy in Including Taiwan Agriculture in International Distribution Network as New Solution to Global Food Crisis
Syngen Biotech was established in 2013, with "research and development in Taiwan, manufacturing in the US, and marketing around the world" as its operational strategy. In 2018, with the "Radiate" that it has developed, it was honored with the Go-Global Award Gold Medal. The technology focuses on effective reduced harm done to economic crops by herbicides through modulating genes of plants. It can fulfill dual purposes of increasing the quantity of crops and improving their quality. Such technology has secured two patents in the US. In 2014, the company's R&D capabilities caught the leading international agricultural supplies distributor, Nutrien Group's attention and the two formed a collaborative alliance. By means of the strategic alliance that consists of international heavyweights and downstream distributors, the distribution network at the moment covers multiple countries, such as the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, among other. The overall export value of products exceeds a million US dollars. The results are impressive and the prospects are promising.
Innovative High-Performance Myopia Surgical Instrument as New Scalpel-free Therapy for Eye Disorder
Excelsius Medical, winner of Innovation Award Gold Medal, looks at itself as a highly innovative leader in professional laser surgical instruments around the world and is determined to challenge unmet medical needs in laser eye surgery by providing ophthalmologists around the world with safe, precise, friendly, and automatic laser eye surgery equipment. The company won the Innovation Award Gold Medal with its High Efficiency Femto SMILE Procedure Refractive Laser this year. The product is known for its innovative positioning and algorithm technologies. In addition, the application of matrix cutting, the spatial efficiency is very high. Compared to mainstream brands in the industry overseas, the SMILE Myopia Surgical Instrument's size is only one-fifth. It is mall and less costly. It weighs only 200 kg and hence is highly portable. Given the cost and co-opetition, the niche is extremely competitive on the market. The award winning item has secured four patents in multiple countries and has been given the CE mark of the European Union because of its innovative and outstanding R&D technology.
New Highlight in Industry-Academia Cooperative R&D and Light at End of Tunnel for Treatment of Autoimmune Disease
Related underlying findings for the "Therapeutic Applications of the ENO1 Antibody in Autoimmune Diseases and Lung Cancers" of the National Health Research Institutes – National Institute of Cancer Research that won the Technology Transfer Award Gold Medal in 2018 originated from research conducted by the professional R&D team put together by Dr. Neng-Yao Shih at the National Health Research Institutes and Dr. Shi-Chang Cai at the Development Center for Biotechnology. ENO1 is a cancer-related protein. The research team found that it can effectively inhibit multiple autoimmune diseases at the same time, making it the first-in-class new drug on the market at the moment. It has also been patented in eight countries and regions such as the US, China, Japan, and European Union for use in medicine that treats autoimmune diseases and cancer. The technology was successfully transferred to UNILIFE TECHNOLOGY in 2015 through exclusive authorization. After the said technical transfer, the company has gradually completed pre-clinical animal studies for related indications and antibody mass production, among other tasks. Subsequent clinical indications will include multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, among other autoimmune diseases. IND application and clinical trials will follow as part of the research and development effort.
With winners of awards revealed and the award presentation ceremony coming to an end for the 2018 Taipei Biotech Awards, Taipei City Government will continue to promote the biotech industry and help it reach out to the world with related measures. Advice and participation are always welcome!