SOURCE: ITRI

ITRI , Industrial Technology Research Institute

April 30, 2010 13:20 ET

Taiwan to Announce at BIO 2010 $1.9B Biotechnology "Mega Fund" Available to Companies Seeking Collaboration and Partnership

Taiwan's Leading Research Institute, ITRI, to Unveil New Bio-Medical Breakthroughs

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - April 30, 2010) -  2010 BIO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION -- In an effort to solidify its leadership role in the global biotech industry, Taiwan's Dr. Jin-Fu Chang, minister of state of the Executive Yuan and Dr. Johnsee Lee, president of Taiwan Bio Industry Organization will introduce the "Mega Fund," a $1.9 billion commitment to biotechnology, its largest to date. An international fund management team is currently being recruited. The "Plan" will be unveiled in a Taiwan International Case Study session organized by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) on May 3, 2010.

The "Mega Fund" will help Taiwan's already robust biotech industry continue to grow and support global bio-medical development and commercialization. Taiwan is geographically positioned as a natural gateway for collaboration with China (a large healthcare market) and Asia is expected to be the center of future pharmaceutical growth. With its brain trust of world-class research institutes and universities, and IP protection, Taiwan has both the infrastructure and a proven expertise in integrating electronics, diagnostic information, semiconductors, micromatching and material technologies with biological and medical sciences.

"Taiwan is an ideal leader in the biotechnology industry and can assist the international community in developing, manufacturing and commercializing life-saving pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices," said Chang. "Additionally, Taiwan has the only national health insurance program in Asia, covering 99 percent of the population. This has been working effectively for more than 10 years."

To ensure a successful pathway, Taiwan's government has announced its "Taiwan Biotechnology Takeoff Diamond Action Plan," a strategic plan that contains four components: 1.) strengthening industrial value chain & pre-clinical development in the commercialization process 2.) establishing a biotechnology venture capital fund, the "Mega Fund" 3.) promoting an integrated incubation mechanism and 4.) establishing the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration.

"As an expert in the research and development of a wide variety of biotechnology fields, we are committed to the health issues that affect people worldwide," said Lee. "We anticipate American companies looking to capitalize on our R&D infrastructure, strategic location and expertise will be particularly interested in further collaboration and commercialization of our biotechnology breakthroughs."

More details about the "Mega Fund" will be unveiled at a 2010 BIO International Convention session entitled "International Case Study" on May 3rd in Room S101 at 2:00 P.M. CST. Interested companies can learn more by attending. Media are welcome. A panel discussion will follow with Taiwan's biotech experts. Please visit Booth #3550 to find out more. 

Leading research institutes such as the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan's largest and one of the world's leading high-tech research and development institutions, will expand their efforts in creating breakthrough multi-disciplinary biomedical research.

At BIO 2010, ITRI will discuss and display its latest bio-medical breakthroughs, particularly in complementary medicine, showcasing new pharmaceutical drugs derived from ancient Chinese herbal medicines for diseases where conventional drugs are often not effective. These include the Anti-Asthma Preclinical Candidate and Anti-Inflammatory Bowel Disease Preclinical Candidate. ITRI will also display recent advancements in collagen scaffold antibodies that replace anti-body scaffold and reduce the immune side effects associated with traditional antibodies used in anti-body therapy. Additionally, it will unveil one of its most important research achievements, ITRI's diagnostic biomarker research for liver, renal and oncology diseases, which provide earlier and more accurate diagnosis.

Since certain diseases such as hepatitis are more common among Asians than Americans, they often receive less attention in the U.S., making R&D of life-saving technologies more challenging. Taiwan's leading expertise in these disease conditions and the development of breakthrough technologies for these diseases offer distinct opportunities for American collaboration and commercialization.

ITRI's new breakthroughs are currently at various stages of clinical trials in Taiwan, China and the U.S., and will be displayed along with other Taiwanese advancements at Taiwan's booth #3550.

Taiwan will host its annual Biotechnology Week in Taiwan from July 20-23, 2010 including the BioBusiness Asia Conference (July 20-21) at the Grand Hyatt, Taipei and the Taiwan Bio Exhibition (July 22-25) at the World Trade Center, Taipei. Featuring exhibitions of the latest R&D and numerous investment forums, this venue presents a prime opportunity to foreign companies seeking to establish partnerships and relationships with Taiwan's biotech leaders.

About ITRI (www.itri.org.tw/eng
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is a nonprofit R&D organization engaging in applied research and technical services. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan's economy from a labor-intensive industry to a high-tech industry. Numerous well-known, high-tech companies in Taiwan, such as leaders in the semiconductor industry TSMC and UMC, can trace their origins to ITRI.

Innovative Research
ITRI is a multidisciplinary research center, with six core laboratories, five focus centers, five linkage centers, several leading labs and various business development units. The six fields ITRI focuses on include Information and Communication; Electronics and Optoelectronics; Material, Chemical and Nanotechnologies; Biomedical Technologies; Advanced Manufacturing and Systems; and Energy and Environment. ITRI has aggressively researched and developed countless next-generation technologies, including WIMAX wireless broadband, solar cells, RFID, light electric vehicles, flexible displays, 3-D ICs and telecare technologies. In addition, ITRI's Flexible Electronics Pilot Lab and Nanotechnology Lab provide international-level research platforms where R&D can be conducted jointly with partners. ITRI has also seen significant growth in intellectual property business and new ventures in recent years and is devoted to creating a model that would make Taiwan manufacturing even more competitive in the international arena.

Fostering Entrepreneurship and CEO Leadership
ITRI employs 5,800 personnel, including 1,112 who hold Ph.D.s and 3,206 with master's degrees, resulting in an average of five patents produced every day. By disseminating both technology and talent, ITRI has led the technology industry into the 21st century and has cultivated 70 CEOs in the local high-tech industry. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the California Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow.

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