The government is making a new push into the biotechnology sector by investing in a company that will focus on the development of a drug for treating AIDS.
The state-owned National Development Fund (NDF) will pump in US$20 million to help establish a biotech firm to be called TaiMed Biologics, Council for Economic Planning and Development Chairwoman Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) told a press conference yesterday.
The move is one of a package of government measures designed to turn the nation's biotech industry into a trillion-dollar sector, following in the footsteps of the foundry and display industries.
PHOTO: CHEN TSE-MING, TAIPEI TIMES
Of the NT$30 billion (US$907 million) budget the government plans to invest in the biotech sector, the state fund has directly invested NT$8 billion in 12 biotech companies, Ho said, adding that the government could pump in more capital to fuel the industry's growth even after the budget is expended.
The new biotech company will be chaired by former vice premier Tsai Ying-wen (
David Ho told the press conference that, although it was impossible to know whether the NDF would see significant returns from its investment in TaiMed Biologics, this kind of investment is needed to stimulate the industry.
TaiMed Biologics purchased the patent for the drug TNX-355, which was developed by US-based Genentech Inc, and plans to complete development of the drug, which blocks HIV from entering human cells, in three years.
After launching TNX-355 on the global market, TaiMed Biologics will devote itself to developing flu and bird flu vaccines, he said.
If TaiMed Biologics later establishes a plant to manufacture drugs or other medical products, the NDF would also finance that, Ho Mei-yueh said.
Inviting private enterprises to jointly invest in TaiMed Biologics, the CEPD chairwoman said she had a shortlist of possible investors and would first approach Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密).
On Sept. 4, Gou announced he would donate NT$15 billion to National Taiwan University to fund biomedical engineering projects and the construction of a hospital for treating cancer.
In June, Gou, who leads the world's largest contract maker of electronic components, reportedly said he would donate NT$100 billion to fund cancer research by scientists in Taiwan and China.
"I will brief him [to try to win] his support for the company [TaiMed Biologics]," Ho Mei-yueh said.
To encourage development of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, the legislature in June passed tthe Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Development Statute (
The new law stipulates that 35 percent of company investment in R&D and personnel training in the two sectors is tax-deductible for the next five years.
If a firm's expenditure on R&D and personnel exceeds its average spending in the previous two years, 50 percent of the extra amount is tax-deductible.
In addition, employees in the industries who receive stock options do not need to pay income tax on their shares.
Government researchers who get permission from the institute where they are employed can also cooperate with private companies to develop new drugs, while researchers can work as consultants at private companies.
INVENTORY DOUBLED: Key parts have backed up in warehouses, halting notebook production, as Acer’s CEO said that a gradual reopening would not solve the problem PC vendor Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said that lockdowns in China to control COVID-19 upended key component supply and disrupted PC production, although chip shortages have been improving. While chip supply constraints largely eased in the first quarter, the company faces uneven supplies of key components due to COVID-19 restrictions in China, Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) told an online news conference. “Semiconductor shortage was the biggest problem in the first half of last year,” Chen said. “Now, we are beset by a supply chain issue caused by China's lockdowns.” With key components unable to be delivered and backing up in
MORE THAN BUZZ: The chip designer said it has received numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips, as it works to expand beyond smartphones MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday said it would ship the first 5G chips for vehicles to customers in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year, as it moves to expand the reach of its 5G chips beyond smartphones. The Hsinchu-based chip designer said it has been developing 5G chips for connected vehicles over the past few years, targeting applications such as telematics and in-vehicle information systems. “We are seeing demand for 5G technology from numerous makers of connected cars, including electric vehicle makers. We have obtained numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips with highly integrated features,” J.C. Hsu
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技) yesterday said it would further expand capacity to cope with robust demand for e-paper displays used in e-readers, e-notes and electronic shelf labels, as the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation have not dampened consumer demand. Although rising inflation is weakening companies’ purchasing power, E Ink said that its customers have not scaled down orders for e-paper displays used in e-readers. “Reading is still the most affordable leisure activity that people have,” E Ink CEO Johnson Lee (李政昊) told an online investors’ conference in Taipei. As e-books are less expensive than paper books, “we have so far not seen
Covestro Taiwan Ltd (台灣科思創) yesterday launched a new research and development center that is to specialize in resin synthesis and fiberoptic coating after its parent company, Covestro AG, acquired a resins business from Royal DSM, it said. The German company in September 2020 agreed to buy the resins and functional materials business from Royal DSM for about 1.61 billion euros (US$1.69 billion), corporate data showed. The Dutch company’s local units, such as Covestro Resins (ROA) Ltd (帝昇) and Covestro Resins (Taiwan) Ltd (新力美), are next month to be integrated into Covestro Taiwan Ltd, with their employees continuing resins development, Covestro Taiwan said. The