Academia Sinica, Novartis sign MOU

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 - Page 13

Academia Sinica and Novartis International AG yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a five-year partnership, aiming at linking academic medical research in Taiwan more closely with the pharmaceutical industry.

“The core of this partnership is to establish the concept of transitional medicine, which means scientific research should be more closely related to treatments and drugs, and training more local talent,” Academia Sinica vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) told a press conference.

Praising Novartis for turning the results of scientific research into drugs and actual treatments, a process known as translational medicine, Chen said the cooperation could greatly benefit the local institute.

“Based on the MOU, Novartis will offer two scholars from Academia Sinica the chance to join their projects and utilize their research and resources worldwide each year,” Chen said.

According to Novartis, scholars from the research institute will have the chance to enter their research centers in the US, Switzerland, China and Singapore.

Furthermore, every 18 months the Swiss drugmaker is to conduct an in-depth review of Academia Sinica’s research projects that have the potential for new drug development, Chen said.

“We conducted one review meeting in February and we thought the results were very fruitful, so we decided to do it regularly,” president of Novartis Taiwan Markus Rohrwild said at the signing ceremony.

The MOU further stipulated that both sides will continue academic exchanges and will every year hold a symposium and three-day forum to connect the biotechnology sector with talented students from top universities.

“We hope to bring more innovation into the pharmaceutical industry in Taiwan,” Rohrwild said.