Academia Sinica and vaccine developer Moderna Inc yesterday announced a five-year strategic partnership to jointly develop messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology and cultivate research talent in Taiwan.
A letter of intent signed by the two parties includes plans to establish an mRNA technology and vaccine research and development (R&D) platform where start-ups can demonstrate their products and conduct exchanges, Academia Sinica said in a press release.
The partnership’s first venture will be an mRNA innovation awards program to select five research teams or individuals, with Moderna providing winners a cash prize of NT$500,000 (US$16,265) and guidance from the company’s experts, Moderna Taiwan general manager Joyce Lee (李宜真) said.
Applicants can submit proposals in any of the following five areas — infectious diseases, rare diseases, immuno-oncology, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases — from Friday next week to the end of next month.
Through cooperation with Academia Sinica, Moderna Taiwan hopes that more mRNA research would be conducted to explore more possibilities of mRNA applications and find innovative solutions to the healthcare challenges facing the world, while developing technology to improve disease prevention and clinical treatment, Lee said.
Taiwan is the only Asian country where Moderna is conducting clinical trials for its flu vaccine, she said.
Moderna Taiwan hopes to bring the most effective medicines and vaccines to Asia, and become a talent incubation hub in the region in preparation for the next pandemic, she added.
Academia Sinica vice president Tang Tang (唐堂) said that the research academy formed its first mRNA vaccine research and development team at the end of 2020, using its mRNA pilot research facility to develop vaccine candidates for early clinical trials.
On-site verification of the mRNA pilot research facility is expected to be completed by the end of this year and start a small-scale trial production trial by the industry and academia next year, Tang added.
Tang said that Academia Sinica’s Biomedical Translation Research Center, which is part of the National Biotechnology Research Park, has helped 59 companies, including 13 publicly listed companies, with a total market value of about NT$350 billion, accounting for 29 percent of the total market value of the biomedical industry in Taiwan.
NXP Semiconductors NV expects its first automotive-grade 5-nanometer chip built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to become available for automakers within one-and-a-half years at the earliest, following demand for better computing performance and energy efficiency for connected vehicles, a company executive said yesterday. That would mean a significant upgrade from the 16-nanometer technology NXP adopted in its existing series of microprocessors. NXP chief technology executive Lars Reger made the remarks during a media briefing yesterday in Taipei. The latest updates came after NXP unveiled its plan to source 5-nanometer capacity from TSMC in 2021. This is Reger’s first trip to
EVADING US CONTROLS? ‘These surveillance chips are relatively easy to manufacture compared to smartphone processors,’ a source said about HiSilicon’s components A Huawei Technologies Co (華為) unit is shipping new Chinese-made chips for surveillance cameras in a fresh sign that the Chinese tech giant is finding ways around four years of US export controls, two sources briefed on the unit’s efforts said. The shipments to surveillance camera manufacturers from the company’s chip design unit, HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體), started this year, said one of the sources and a third source familiar with the industry supply chain. One of the sources briefed on the unit said that at least some of the customers were Chinese. Huawei unveiled new smartphones in the past few weeks that
CENTRAL BANK: The consumer price index would grow while core CPI is set to move forward at a milder rate, the governor said, adding that the GDP forecast is down The central bank yesterday kept its policy rate unchanged for the second straight quarter, saying that a rate pause would help support the economy, as consumer prices have moderated and would return to the 2 percent target next year. “The board gave unanimous support to a policy hold, although some members voiced concern over lingering inflationary pressures and called for close monitoring,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) told a media briefing after its quarterly board meeting. The consumer price index (CPI) would grow 1.83 percent next year, while core CPI after stripping out volatile items would advance a milder 1.73 percent,
SLUMP: The electronics, machinery and traditional industries posted the largest decline in the past year; overall, sectors showed gains over the previous month Taiwan’s industrial production index decreased 10.53 percent year-on-year to 91.38 last month, falling for a 15th consecutive month on an annual basis, as weak global economic growth continued to weigh on end-market demand and investment momentum, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Saturday. The industrial production index gauges output in Taiwan’s four main industries: manufacturing, electricity and gas supply, water supply, and mining and quarrying. Last month’s decline was the smallest contraction since March when the index dropped 16.03 percent from a year earlier. On a monthly basis, the index rose 7.28 percent, marking a second straight month of improvement,