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[2019/03/30] The Inaugural Serial Liaison Event of Bio-Navigator: Learning from Dr. Wen of Mycenax Biotech Inc.

The General Manager of Mycenax Biotech Inc., Dr. Wen (left 3rd), shared her practical experience in the pharmaceutical industry in October 2018.


The National Yang-Ming University Business Center of Industry–Academia and National Yang-Ming University GLORIA project recently collaborated to co-host a series of corporate keynote speeches as part of the Serial Liaison Events of Bio-Navigator; the aim being to promote liaison between on-campus research and development (R&D) and global enterprises. The inaugural event was led by the University’s President, Dr. Kuo, and ex-chief R&D director, Dr. Lin. We were honored to welcome the General Manager of Mycenax Biotech Inc., Dr. Wen Guo-Lan, who is a most iconic figure in the pharmaceutical industry. She was the guest speaker and shared with her audience her practical experience and vision regarding the development and future of biologics.


In the opening speech, Dr. Lin explained that the Serial Liaison Events for Bio-Navigator would consist of a wide range of events, including corporate keynote speeches, a matchmaking forum, product technical capacity verification, corporate visits, joint expositions, and creativity competitions. Through these events, it was expected that there would be facilitation of academia–industry cooperation and that this would help to put R&D findings to practical use.


Dr. Kuo is convinced that academia–industry cooperation is the optimal approach for National Yang-Ming University to adopt.


In a subsequent speech, Dr. Kuo highlighted that, at the moment, notable international pharmaceutical companies in many countries have high expectations of Taiwan’s biotech and pharmaceutical industries and there are plans to increase their investment in clinical trials in Taiwan. However, the biotech industry is still in its infancy in Taiwan and transitioning from academic R&D to industrial R&D is never easy for both Universities and the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Kuo indicated he was convinced that academia–industry cooperation is the optimal approach for National Yang-Ming University and must be adopted. Moreover, academia–industry cooperation should provide National Yang-Ming University’s faculty members and students with opportunities to bridge the gap between theory and practice; this will help them to gain further insights into the needs of industry. Such a bridge ought to lead to projects that are able to serve as benchmarks for further projects.


Mycenax Biotech Inc. is a trailblazer in Taiwan’s biologics industry and is second to none in Taiwan in terms of pharmaceutical manufacturing, production, and R&D capacity. Mycenax Biotech Inc. is the first organization in Taiwan to have successfully developed a new medicine - TuNEX. This drug is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Mycenax is also the first Taiwanese pharmaceutical company to be nominated at the CPhI Pharma Awards; the company was nominated at the 2018 awards for Excellence in Pharma, as Pharma Company of the Year and for Excellence in Pharma: Bioprocessing and Manufacturing.


Dr. Wen emphasized that the key to success is the ability to seize opportunities.


According to Dr. Wen, Mycenax Biotech Inc. has now turned its attention towards R&D in biologics and has plans to conduct phase III clinical trials. The aim is to produce a biosimilar to Eylea, which was developed by South Korea’s public trading company SCD, in order to meet the development contracts and manufacturing organizational demands of its clients and the future manufacturing requirements of Mycenax’s own biosimilar, LusiNEX.


Finally, Dr. Wen suggested that successful academia–industry cooperation needs to meet the following conditions:


(1) The choice of research topic is the most crucial aspect of any academia–industry cooperation. Nevertheless, other crucial aspects include the market share of the developed technology, the presence of potential competitors, the patent claims available and how they cover the target being developed, and the length of time needed for the target's clinical trials.


(2) Strategic alliances need to be formed with other institutions, perhaps with National Chiao Tung University and National Tsing Hua University, so that their knowledge in the areas of electronics, and the introduction of automation into the manufacturing process can help success.


(3) New products need to achieve success in overseas markets before being introduced into Taiwan’s marketplace because Taiwan’s review and licensing process is both lengthy and over-complicated.


(4) Finally, the members of any R&D team must be intelligent, diligent and have a positive attitude. In conclusion, Dr. Wen suggests an allegory whereby running quickly does not necessarily help to win a race; the key to success is the ability to seize any opportunities presented.


The inaugural Serial Liaison Events for Bio-Navigator: Corporate Keynote Speech was a great success. More events will be hosted and these will help to familiarize the faculty and students of NYMU with industry in order to create further opportunities for mutually beneficial academia–industry cooperation.