28 July, 2023
BIO Asia-Taiwan 2023 kicked off Wednesday 26th July at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center with Day One of the three-day conference. During the conference opening ceremony Johnsee Lee, BIO Asia–Taiwan Organizing Committee Chairman; Herbert Wu, Chairman of the Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO); Susanna Ling, Vice President of the global Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO); and Chern Yijuang, National Science and Technology Council Deputy Minister, all delivered speeches. Later, they invited John Murphy, BIO's Chief Policy Officer, and other international experts from industry and academia, including three 2022 Tang Prize Laureates, to share insights on the latest global biotech and medical developments.
Johnsee Lee announced that this year's conference theme is "Embracing Asian Dynamics," And with the event’s first full return since pandemic restrictions were lifted, BIO Asia–Taiwan 2023 is shaping up to be even larger than during pre-pandemic times.
The conference has 22 Sessions over the course of its three days, while the four-day exhibition will open Thursday at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 1, with over 2,000 booths and exhibitors from Taiwan, Asia and around the world. And this year over 1,800 one-on-one business matchmaking sessions have already been booked. Additionally, this year’s Regional Collaboration Forum program has expanded with the participation of more than 30 foreign companies.
Herbert Wu, Chairman of Taiwan BIO, stated that this year's theme symbolizes the opportunities and vast potential within the dynamic Asian economic region, while cross-national and cross-regional alliances and knowledge sharing are crucial for the further development of the industry.
Wu also highlighted Taiwan's biotech industry's ability to quickly utilize resources and technology to develop products for global markets, as it did during the pandemic. He expressed hope that Taiwan could contribute to the global biopharmaceutical supply chain as part of contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) in small molecule drugs, biologics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
Susanna Ling, Vice President of BIO, expressed gratitude for Taiwan's participation in the recent BIO conference in Boston in June. She echoed the theme of this conference, emphasizing that Asia will be a crucial driving force in the global pharmaceutical market for at least the next ten years. She also noted the active licensing and trading within and beyond Asia, underscoring the importance of collaboration and exchange.
Chern Yijuang, National Science and Technology Council Deputy Minister, discussed the main focuses of this exhibition: precision health and CDMO, and emphasized new Taiwan’s Precision Health Initiative which combines digital technology with biomedicine to create a new and comprehensive healthcare ecosystem. Additionally, with the rapid growth CDMO worldwide, the exhibition’s dedicated CDMO zone, established for the first time last year, will again showcase the strategies and service offerings of various CDMO providers.
John Murphy, Chief Policy Officer of BIO, in his presentation discussed the challenges and opportunities within the US biotech industry's policy environment. He mentioned the potential significant impact of the Inflation Reduction Act that took effect in 2022, affecting drug price negotiations for pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, he discussed the Biomanufacturing Executive Order, signed in the same year, which aims to advance the US biotech and biomanufacturing industries towards sustainability, safety, and security, influencing biotech and medical regulations globally, including the EU.
The forum also invited three 2022 Tang Prize Laureates, awarded for Biopharmaceutical Science, to speak. Pieter Cullis from the University of British Columbia in Canada introduced how lipid nanoparticles became carriers for gene therapy and eventually for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Katalin Karikó, a consultant for BioNTech and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed how mRNA overcame degradation and transport challenges to become a genuine therapy. Drew Weissman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, also discussed how lipid nanoparticles as carriers for targeted therapy have been able to transport gene therapy, nucleic acid drugs, proteins, and so on, and target various organs and tissues, with the brain remaining a challenging organ to target.
Other international guests outlined the future global health industry's key development trends, including Sam Wilson, Senior Vice President of Syneos Health, who emphasizing three health trends for 2023: innovation in medical affairs, digital transformation, and focused outsourcing through M&A strategies; and Unmesh Lal, Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Frost & Sullivan, who discussed the growth opportunities of precision health from “sickcare to healthcare.”
Aurelio Arias, Global Thought Leadership Director at IQVIA, pointed out pharmaceutical industry’s four strategic growth areas: biologics and specialty drugs, near-to-patient strategies, digital connectivity, and environmental sustainability. Basha Kodidela, Senior Sales Manager for the Asia-Pacific region at BIOVIA, shared digital technology transformations from research to development and production, including quality issues, within the biotech industry.
Jens Neumann, a Partner at PwC Strategy& in Europe, indicated that the pharmaceutical market is expected to continue its transition from mainstream small molecule drugs to biologics and advanced therapies, while relevant supply chain stakeholders will need to establish more structured supply chain systems to meet future business demands.
In the media session that followed, Johnsee Lee, Susanna Ling from BIO, Murali P.M. from the India Biotechnology Association, Herbert Wu, Vice Chairman Jo Shen and Vice Chairman Audrey Tseng from Taiwan BIO gathered to discuss Taiwan's biotech and medical industry development and regional cooperation. Susanna Ling emphasized the long timelines involved in developing value chains in biotech and the importance of collaboration and exchange between participants, reflected in the record 57,000 matchmaking sessions at last month's BIO conference over the three and a half-day event. While Murali P.M. pointed out that due to the impact of the pandemic, the global biotech industry quickly found solutions through mutual cooperation, demonstrating the importance of regional collaboration.
After today's forum opening, tomorrow will feature Day Two of the conference, the opening of the exhibition, the company presentation program, one-on-one business meetings, and more regional cooperation forums.