An Industrial Alliance on the Drug Rescue Program Gets Strong Support from the Taiwan Government
July 31, 2007
Four Taiwan-based companies, including Vita Genomics, Inc., Protech Pharmaservices Corporation, Medigen Biotechnology Corporation, and TTY Biopharm, announced today their alliance to launch an innovative pharmacogenomics-based drug rescue program under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan. The leading company in this alliance, Vita Genomics, Inc., is a well-known pharmacogenomics company with an impressive list of achievements in both research and product development. Protech Pharmaservices Corporation is a professional CRO service provider with strong business associations with many global Pharmaceutical companies. Medigen Biotechnology Corporation and TTY Biopharm are pharmaceutical companies focusing particularly on the development of oncology drugs. These four companies form a strong alliance with expertise ranging from pharmacogenomics, clinical trial management to drug development and manufacturing.
This government sponsored drug rescue program aims to apply pharmacogenomics to assist drug development during clinical trials. The alliance is currently looking for and screening a list of potential candidate drugs. Once a target drug is identified, it will develop biomarkers to screen subsets of patients who may respond better or avoid adverse responses to the test drug. This approach is especially useful for drugs that have failed in Phase II or III clinical trials due to low efficacy or strong side effects. Stratifying the etiology of disease in groups of patients based on genetic differences sets the stage for the development of future personalized medicine. At this moment the alliance welcomes drug companies with potential candidate drugs to join the discussion. The alliance is flexible in negotiating the license rights with all necessary parties involved, ranging from fee-for-service to royalty-based joint programs.
This alliance aims to create an internationally-recognized drug resurrection business, which may create net values of more than 100 million US dollars for every drug being rescued. According to Dr. Ellson Chen, President and CEO of Vita Genomics, drug rescue is a high-risk, high-reward business; it is therefore critical and essential to have the support from Taiwan government while it intends to make the nation as an international clinical research center. Building the expertise of pharmacogenomics to assist drug development could enhance its global competitive edge towards the era of personalized medicine. Such a move is also in line with the recent trend when the regulatory agencies from many countries are encouraging the submission of genomic data after clinical trials of new drugs.