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  • National Platforms Boost Singapore's Drug Development Efforts
    At the Launch Ceremony of Experimental Drug Development Centre. From left, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, SFA; Mr Frederick Chew, CEO, A*STAR; Dr Damian O'Connell, CEO, EDDC; Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister And Minister For Finance; Ms Chan Lai Fung, Chairman, A*STAR and PS (NRD); Dr William Chin, Member, A*STAR Board, and Chairman, EDDC Governing Board; and Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, Chief Health Scientist, MOH.

National Platforms Boost Singapore's Drug Development Efforts

Jul 22 2019 Read 423 Times

The nation's drug development efforts have been given additional momentum with the introduction of two new platforms, and a grant scheme for drug discovery and development.

These national platforms aim to bridge the 'valley of death' between basic science research and pharmaceutical enterprises. They will also serve to catalyse collaboration across industry, research institutes, academia, and the hospitals; as well as nurture a strong pool of scientific talent for Singapore's biomedical ecosystem.

These announcements were made during the opening ceremony of the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) in Biopolis, officiated by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, and Chairman of the National Research Foundation (NRF).

EDDC is a national platform for drug discovery and development to channel high potential drug candidates toward realising commercial outcomes for Singapore, as well as clinical outcomes that will benefit Singaporeans. EDDC integrates A*STAR's Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), the clinical development unit known as Drug Discovery and Development (D3), and the Experimental Biotherapeutics Centre (EBC).

Also launched, the Target Translation Consortium (TTC) brings together A*STAR, Duke-NUS Medical School, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, National Healthcare Group, National University of Singapore, National University Health System, and SingHealth. Helmed by EDDC, this new TTC coordinates early-stage drug discovery efforts across academia, healthcare institutions, and government agencies. This collaborative approach is an important competitive edge for Singapore's biomedical ecosystem amidst an increasingly sophisticated drug discovery and development space.

To complement these two new platforms, the Singapore Therapeutics Development Review (STDR) grant scheme was also announced. STDR consolidates three separate schemes by A*STAR, the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC), as well as the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART); into a new grant that funds early-stage projects up to S$750,000. It combines the expertise and resources of all three organisations, streamlining the assessment and feedback process for promising drug discovery and development projects.

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