Monday, 24 June 2024

BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 showcases innovation, market, supply and investment

06 October 2022 | Company results

BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 collated global biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives and investors exploring business opportunities with Taiwan’s emerging biotech sector. The event hosted around 1,500 participants from over 30 nations, offerings from 15 countries in more than 1,500 booths, and showcased around 550 bio-industry manufacturers.

Photo Credit: BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022

Photo Credit: BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022

BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 International Conference and Exhibition was held in Taiwan’s capital city Taipei in a hybrid version (Onsite + Virtual) from July 27 to 29, 2022. The exhibition showcased the latest achievements in the industry, academia, and research institutes, surpassing 100,000 visitors over 4 days. 

The Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO) and the global Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Jointly organised BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 under the keynote theme 'Connecting the Asian Value Chain' at the TaiNEX 2 Exhibition Center located in Nangang District of Taipei.

Simultaneously, BIO One-on-One Partnering platform encouraged international participation through the online meeting scheduling system to connect with potential partners, collaborators, and investors along with in- and out-licensing opportunities.

The active involvement of government research institutes like Academia Sinica, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the National Health Research Institutes, the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), and the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Biotechnology and the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office (BPIPO) were the major highlights at the event.

The BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 conference was jointly held by PwC Taiwan, Taiwania Capital, the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Academia Sinica, Taipei Medical University, EirGenix, Formosa Laboratories, Quanta Computer, the Taiwan Digital Health Industry Development Association, and the Precision Medicine Industry Association of Taiwan.


Exuberant Exhibition Pavilions

BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 collated global biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives and investors exploring business opportunities with Taiwan’s emerging biotech sector. The event hosted around 1,500 participants from over 30 nations at the exhibition and more than 100,000 engaged virtually.

The exhibition brought together offerings from 15 participating countries with more than 1,500 booths. It was a perfect pitch to demonstrate the pulse and achievements of more than 550 bio-industry manufacturers including over 50 publicly-listed companies. The collaboration among government entities, academic research institutes, and industry-university was the highlight at the event.

“BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 showcases innovation, market, supply and investment value linkages to and within the Asian biomedical ecosystem" said Johnsee Lee, Chairman of the BIO Asia–Taiwan Organizing Committee.

The consortium created an ideal platform for international collaboration and networking for the startup companies to explore fundraising opportunities and eventual exposure to global innovative medical technologies.

“The accelerated integration of the biomedical and ICT industries under recent pandemic conditions has certainly kick-started digital health innovation and uptake, in such areas as telemedicine, for example. While Taiwan holds great potential in this field, reimbursement considerations will continue to be a major challenge” explains Dr. Jerome Shen, General Partner of Bio Fund at Taiwania Capital.

Furthermore, exclusive ‘The International Zone’ featured biomedical ventures from 10 international pavilions corresponding to the USA, the UK, Canada, Poland, Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Belgium, and Italy. 


'Connecting the Asian Value Chain’

When the global pandemic emphasised supply chain cruciality, CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation) mobilisation became a significant enabler to endure exponential growth in next-generation therapies and biologics. Reflecting this scenarios, the theme of the event,  'Connecting the Asian Value Chain' explored Asian CDMOs key role in strengthening bio business while enhancing market proximity, advancing service quality, local incentives, and lowering operation & shipping costs.

Chief Policy Officer and Healthcare Deputy Counsel, at Biotechnology Information Organisation (BIO), Mr. John A Murphy, III explains “With the COVID-19 pandemic straining global supply chains to breaking point, the US government and other relevant authorities stepped up early and supported the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors to enable the rapid development and rollout of vaccines and medicines to meet the unprecedented public health need. Supply problems at least for vaccines are no longer an issue. But faced with the next pandemic, including the possible global spread of the monkeypox virus, whether the global supply chain will remain resilient will require a global effort to maintain it”.

Exclusive global CDMO’s featuring enhanced capabilities were the highlights of the exhibition. Sessions entitled CDMO Business for Small Molecules, biosimilars, cell therapy, regenerative medicine, precision medicine, genetic testing, medical materials, services, smart medicine, pharmaceutical industry equipment, medical instruments and more. Furthermore, the event exemplified cell lines, biopharmaceutical drug development, clinical testing and API production processes along with smart technologies which can optimise Biologics product development & manufacturing.

Lee-Cheng Liu, Founder, Chairman& President at EirGenix Inc. explains, “With global easing of pandemic conditions, industry stakeholders, policy makers, and investors in Taiwan and the rest of Asia have been discussing the future of biomedical supply and value chains, in particular identifying where existing Asian production facilities might fit into the global biomedical ecosystem. Taiwan looks well placed to play a major role in this regard”.


A testament to Taiwan's booming biotech industry

A variety of biomedical technologies, biotech-pharmaceutical-medical devices, advancements in Precision medicine, as well as AI applications, IoT technology, and unique investment opportunities were exclusive features of the event corroborated by the engrossing sessions, which emphasised Taiwan's growing digital advantage in the Biomed sector.

“With Taiwan’s recent rapid progress in the fields of Big Data, AI, genomics and biomarkers, companies in our emerging biotech and pharmaceutical industry space are taking advantage of these tools to optimise the drug development process; from the improved screening of drug targets to the optimising and speeding up of clinical trials. The result is the enhancement of efficiency and the improved chance of a successful drug launch,” says The President of Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), Mr Chung-Hsiun Wu, who is also the Chairman of Taiwan Bio-Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO).

Potential investors and collaborators engaged with onsite and online participants triggering endless possibilities.

Wallace Lin, Secretary-General of the Taiwan Bio-Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO) stated that “with biotechnology being a global industry, market, regulations, and products need to be compliant with international standards and aligned with international requirements. BIO Asia–Taiwan provides the platform for Taiwan to engage with the global biomedical community to help meet these requirements. We aim to cement Taiwan's role as an essential player in the international value chain.”


Enthralling sessions

BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022 featured over 22 sessions comprising over 100 presentations by leading international industry experts held in the 'Company Presentation' and the 'Entrepreneur Pitch' program. Insightful sessions explored post-pandemic strategy, advanced therapies, digital health, supply chain considerations, investment, regional cooperation and more.

Around 88 presentations from regional and international biotech, pharma, materials, devices, and diagnostics companies enriched the sessions.

The key focus of the conference was in the areas of:

  • Innovation- covering precision health, AI and digital health, and more
  • Market & Supply -including biosimilars, vaccines, contract development & manufacturing, APIs, and generics, among others.  
  • Investment – covering early-stage financing, cross border investment, capital markets, and more. 

Plenary sessions covered global biotech development, and featured a keynote presentation from Nobel Prize Laureate Dr Shinya Yamanaka of Japan on 'Top iPS Cell Technologies at Affordable Prices'.

In his presentation, Shinya Yamanaka described his latest research on iPS cells to make cell lines and related technology more affordable for future applications. He described the current protocols for stem cell treatments and other rejuvenation technologies as being expensive and time-consuming, and how an alternative technology is more cost-effective.

To add on, Dr Yamanaka who is also the Representative Director at Japan’s CiRA Foundation shared, “It's a pleasure to announce the signing of a new Japan-Taiwan collaboration, a research agreement between National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) and the CIRA Foundation at Kyoto University, that aims to automate various processes in iPS cell manufacturing, This will contribute to our goal of a more affordable iPSC solution”.

Meanwhile, Prof. Yoshiaki Tsukamoto, The Executive Director of ‘Japan Bio Industry Association’ provided an overview of japan’s bioeconomy strategy and greater Tokyo biocommunity, aligning with Japan’s latest Bioeconomy Strategy to promote open innovation, R&D activities, partner alliances and networking among Japan’s biocommunity.

Continuing to examine global development trends, the forum further prospected 'International Collaboration Strategy', 'Exit Strategies for Early Stage New Drug Companies', 'New Modalities to Cure', 'advances in cell and gene therapy' sessions delving some of the latest promising therapeutic techniques.

Furthermore, a key BioMed Commercialisation Center, comprising 13 research teams from the “Research Center for Epidemic Prevention Science''  demonstrated some of Taiwan's most promising license-ready technologies. In addition, the National Science and Technology Council led the Hsinchu Science Park, the Central Taiwan Science Park, the Southern Taiwan Science Park, the Taiwan Instrument Research Institute, and 36 other industry players showcased their innovations in drug discovery, medical materials, telemedicine, medical cosmetics, and carbon net zero firms. Similarly, an independent session on Novel Platforms for Biopharma Discovery was headed by Taiwan’s Biomedical Translation Research Center (BioTReC) of the Academia Sinica.

Speaking about the success of the BIO Asia–Taiwan 2022, Johnsee Lee, Chairman of BIO Asia–Taiwan said, “BIO Asia–Taiwan has become the platform of choice to connect Asia to the global biotech community. In spite of the lingering effects of the pandemic, more than 100,000 participants from 30 countries utilised onsite and online platforms to experience the exhibition and conferences. Once Taiwan’s borders open up completely, we expect next year’s BIO Asia–Taiwan to witness an even greater success."


Targeting  BIO Asia–Taiwan 2023

BIO Asia-Taiwan 2023 is preparing to strike back from July 26- 30, 2023. With the ease in border restrictions, the event is expected to attract more participants and international visitors by next year, stimulating greater business opportunities in and around Taiwan.


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