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Taiwan urged to increase cooperation with China on clinical trials

2012/06/25 16:28:12

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) Taiwan should step up its efforts to expand cooperation with China in clinical research now that the two sides have concluded a medical cooperation agreement, the president of Taiwan's top research institute said Monday.

"Promoting clinical trials under the terms of the agreement is an issue that cannot be delayed," Chi-Huey Wong, president of Academia Sinica, said on the second day of a four-day forum to review Taiwan's policies on the biotech industry.

After signing the Cross-Strait Cooperation Agreement on Medicine and Public Health Affairs in December 2010, Taiwan and China now have to work out regulations on clinical trials before such research projects can be launched, Wong added.

Citing Taiwan's strength in research on diseases that affect only ethnic Chinese, he said that clinical trial programs carried out in conjunction with Chinese researchers will further benefit medical research in the field.

Asia is expected to account for 33 percent of the global market of the biotech medical industry in the coming years, Wong said, citing this as another major reason for the importance of further Taiwan-China cooperation in the field of medicine.

Wong also said that although Taiwan exhibits strong performance in clinical medicine, it lacks an institution that integrates the country's research and development in medicine.

He suggested that the government should integrate existing research entities into a single biotech research institution.

To boost the country's biotech industry, the government launched a project in 2009 that included setting up an investment fund and a food and drug administration.

(By Elaine Hou)