Updated on 9 May 2012
Dr Luke Chen, CEO - Pharmigene
Treatment of Pompe disease, an inherited disorder caused by build-up of a complex sugar called glycogen in the body's cells, was unknown to the scientific fraternity until Dr Y T Chen discovered the only life-saving treatment. Dr Chen, a professor at Duke University Medical Center and Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and his team found that patients with specific genotypes are more susceptible to the fatal Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS)/ Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) as compared to the general population.
The breakthrough discovery by Dr Chen attracted healthcare experts and venture capitalists and this led to the establishment of Pharmigene in 2005. The company, which aims to popularize and commercialize Dr Chen's discoveries in order to save human lives, won the BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Bioscience Industry Emerging Company of the Year for 2011.
Pharmigene, now striding under the guidance of CEO Dr Luke Chen, possesses patents in key regions, such as the US, Europe and China. Dr Luke Chen has years of leadership experience in marketing, sales, business development, product development, manufacturing, licensing and has held partnerships with companies, including Agilent Technologies, Hewlett Packard, Incyte, Clontech and Scimagix.
Pharmigene has obtained ISO 13485/9001 and GMP certifications and is manufacturing its DNA genetic tests under the most stringent guidelines. It has validated the tests with clinical studies that involved thousands of patients. Pharmigene's tests have earned the CE Mark and have obtained IVD clearance from the Department of Health in Taiwan.
Pharmigene's HLA-B* 1502 Assessment Test was selected as the key screening test for a clinical prospective study that involved 27 hospitals and 4,500 patients. It has also received patent "Risk Assessment for Adverse Drug Reactions" in Singapore and has secured patents related to genetic-based methods to fight SJS and TENS in the key global regions.