Updated on 2 May 2012
Dr Ellson Chen, founder, Vita Genomics
The pharmacogenetics testing is a new and powerful tool in medical application. Scientists combine genomic data, pharmacokinetics molecular/cellular phenotype data, and clinical phenotype data to understand the relationships between different genes and various drug functions.
Based on this particular pharmacogenetics, Vita Genomics, a genomics-based biotechnological and biopharmaceutical company from Taiwan, has developed a platform named CiYoPu for identifying drug metabolizing gene variants of patients. CiYoPu provides knowledge of individual genotype to maximize treatment efficacy, target drugs to responders, and avoid adverse drug reactions.
Vita Genomics was chosen for the BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Bioscience Industry Emerging Company of the Year Award for 2010.
Vita Genomics was established in March, 2001 by Dr Ellson Chen, better known as the Grandfather of Sequencing, with an investment of $75 million raised from various Taiwanese investors. Over the period of time, Vita Genomics has developed proficiency in conducting pharmacogenomics research aimed at early disease prevention and personalized medicine, in-vitro diagnosis (IVD) product development, and specialty contract research services.
Vita Genomics has developed six technology platforms such as high throughput screening, short tandem repeat genotyping, SNP genotyping, clinical genomics, functional genomics and bioinformatics. "Using these technology platforms we developed innovative and IP protected products that are moving through clinical trials and field testing. Some of our research is further developed into diagnostic or prognostic kits that are commercially available in the market.
Started with 60 staff that include 15 PhD holders, the company has emerged as a leading biotechnology group in Taiwan. Vita Genomics has adopted an inorganic business model by acquiring and setting up of its own subsidiaries to grow its operations. In 2003, the company has acquired Shanghai GeneCore from ABI & Celera and also established CytoPharm for protein drug development. With the changing business opportunities, Vita Genomics has set up Cyto Biotech for animal healthcare in 2007. ACTS Biosciences is the latest addition to the list of the group. Set up in 2009, ACTS Biosciences has been looking after the global business development, marketing and distribution of services and products offered by Vita Genomics and Shanghai GeneCore Biotechnologies.
Vita Genomics has developed three products namely Beta-Ag, INFor and AmSure in pharmacogenetic testing area. It has developed two products, BRCA Chip and Cancer Gene Detection, for cancer testing. It has also developed tools that can test caffeine, alcohol, parental, personality, skin, Apolipoprotein E and whole genome scan. In disease risk assessment space Vita Genomics has developed as many as 10 tests for OsteoGene, Obesity, AMIType, HypTen Type, APOE Test, Stroke Type, Alzh Type, SmaPhile, MetaPro and FH-Profiler.
Vita Genomics has been developing diagnostic product in the areas of liver diseases, various cancers, and obesity-metabolic syndrome and psychiatric cares. At the same time it is offering cost-effective and efficient CRO services through its ISO certified central labs to various clients. Its subsidiary operation, GeneCore, in Shanghai, China, has achieved second profitable year at an annual growth rate of over 40 percent.