In June 2020, the global health and medical innovative and entrepreneurial project collection came to an end, the winning project of Nipponia Award has been selected. The event was hosted by Hangzhou Qiantang New District Management Committee, Hangzhou Talent Office, Hangzhou Investment Promotion Bureau, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University Medical College, undertaken by Hangzhou Medical Port, Hangzhou Dachang Town, Zhejiang University First Hospital Innovation and Transformation Center and vcbeat.top. The aim is to carry out the strategy of “healthy China 2030” and promote the transfer and transformation of scientific and technological achievements in hygiene and health and the innovation and development of the health care industry.
In the past two months, the event has completed the project collection, shortlist review, expert identification and other links, attracting nearly 100 projects from all over the world, 47 of which entered the award selection link.
The “clinical application development of a deubiquitinating enzyme inhibitor” project from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University was awarded category I projects through professional review, “the clinical development and commercialization of targeted EP4 and STAT3 innovative drugs” from Yuyao Biologic, “innovative antibody coupling technology and product development” from Nuoling Biomedical, “biopharmaceutical source innovation solution” from Xiangyao Biopharma and “research and development of novel coronavirus automated nucleic acid real-time diagnostic system” from the Institute of Transforming Medicine of Zhejiang University was awarded category II projects. In addition, the event also selected 17 category II projects, 16 category IV projects, 7 category V projects. In addition to winning the competing returns of the finalist award, all the projects will receive project start-up funds from 200,000 to 1 million yuan, rental subsidies of 200,00 yuan.
The judges told vcbeat.top that all the projects this time have high quality and full preparation, which integrates scientific research and incubation of new technologies, involving innovative drugs, new vaccines, advanced medical equipment, digital medicine, telemedicine technology and biotherapy technology. “We noticed that the innovative and entrepreneurial projects registered for the review have different levels of innovation in the transformation of new technologies, the level of clinical diagnosis and treatment, and the transformative research capacity in the key disciplines.”
Dominated by biopharmaceutical projects, the strong momentum of transformation of scientific and technological achievements
In the project selection, more than one-third of the shortlisted projects focused on biopharmaceuticals. Vcbeat.top learned that the shortlisted biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship projects involve both innovative application transformation exploration of frontier technologies such as tumor neoantigens, synthetic biology, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and clinical and commercial development of relatively mature technologies such as enzyme inhibitors, targeted drugs, antibody coupling, etc.
For example, the “clinical application development of a deubiquitinating enzyme inhibitor” awarded category I project of Nipponia Award has designed and developed a series of targeted small-molecule drugs based on drug targets and new deubiquitinating inhibitory molecular mechanisms. The first molecule is being applied to the clinical research.
According to the event judges, the project’s founder and chief scientist, Dr. Zhang, has been engaged in basic cancer biology and molecular genetics research for a long term, and has technology patents in both China and America. “Although the project is still a long way from the final landing of industrialization, the related inhibitor development technology mastered by this team is in the leading position globally and has high commercial and social value.”
In addition, the innovative and entrepreneurial projects of medical device category also performed well in this selection. For example, “CDMO CRO innovation service model” from Medicalstrong and “magnetic navigation artificial intelligence heart intervention robot” from Meio Medical awarded category III project of Nipponia Award have begun to take shape. Another category III project is “chemiluminescence, dry biochemical POCT testing system (emergency and severe cases) development and marketing” from Xiangya Medical College, Central South University. The judges told vcbeat.top that the project team is complete and has registered companies engaged in product development. “Their mature industrialization ability is prominent in projects from medical institutions.”
It is worth noting that three products of Meio Medical project have entered the early prototype development phase. Vcbeat.top learned that cardiac automatic navigation and cardiac surgery equipment developed by Meio Medical belongs to high-end medical devices with extremely high entry threshold and very difficult product development. It is in conjunction with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital 301 Hospital and Zhejiang University. The project plans to set up a research and development center in Hangzhou.
One of the highlights of the project selection is that the innovative and entrepreneurial projects from medical institutions and universities account for more than 40%, the only one that has been awarded category III project of Nipponia Award is from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University.
In recent years, clinicians have become the innovative and entrepreneurial subjects of medical health. They have long been in the front line of patient diagnosis and treatment, with the natural advantage of grasping the real clinical needs. In addition, clinicians as the largest patient entry, also have the convenience to implement the steps of patient recruitment and product iterative upgrading in clinical trials later in the project, etc.. A spokesperson said that in the project selection, the projects from medical institutions showed better universality than before, clinicians’ product awareness is gradually strengthening.
The industrialization ability needs to be improved, the innovative ecology needs to correct and improve drawbacks
As the innovative and entrepreneurial projects, the common deficiencies of early projects such as the lack of industrial resources, product development still in the initial stage, products or services not been verified in different places are also universal in the shortlisted projects. According to the incomplete statistics of vcbeat.top, the industrialization ability of nearly one-third of the shortlisted projects is weak, such as “surgical training based on 3D printing model” from Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, “living library of organ-like biological samples and their industrialization” from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, etc.. More than half of the shortlisted projects are at very early stages, such as the “new drug study of affective disorder based on brain-gut axis” and “novel coronavirus and other 9 respiratory viruses and mycobacterium tuberculosis complex group gene chip nucleic acid detection kit development” from the the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University Medical College etc., some projects even just completed the concept verification. In addition, the products or service of a small number of projects have landed in other cities, but not arranged in Hangzhou yet, such as Allcure.
Vcbeat.top learned that the excellent projects shortlisted will also be recommended to enter the further award review link. The Industry Park will regularly carry out policy interpretation and 24-hour project docking with the innovative entrepreneurial projects landing in Hangzhou Medical Port. “The Industry Park will make full use of government and platform resources, actively support the biopharmaceutical innovation projects at different stages, and give policy, technology, ecology, capital, operation, physical space, brand and other different latitude innovation enabling.” The related responsible person of Hangzhou Medical Port told vcbeat.top.
Since August 1988, when the State began to implement the Torch Program and explicitly proposed the establishment of high-tech industrial development zones and high-tech entrepreneurial service centers, the first batch of biopharmaceutical industrial parks in China has risen rapidly and gradually formed four industrial clusters around the Bohai Rim, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the central and western regions. Taking the head park as the core, radiate capacity and innovation ability to the surrounding area.
In recent years, with the formation and perfection of innovative ecology in the field of life science and technology in China, start-ups with unique technology have been emerging, more and more regions have paid more attention to and vigorously developed the biopharmaceutical industry. In May 2018, after nearly three years of development, Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone where Hangzhou Medical Port is located was officially awarded the title “Hangzhou Medical Port” by the municipal government as the first batch of Hangzhou city-level special town. Since then, Hangzhou Medical Port, as the core area of the development of Hangzhou biomedical industry, has gradually constructed a whole chain biopharmaceutical innovative and entrepreneurial ecology characterized by “six chains”, with the output value of nearly 50% of Hangzhou City.
The biopharmaceutical industry parks should cooperate with the local supporting policies to stimulate the development of the industry, introduce capital to support start-ups, communicate with the surrounding universities and build talent bridges, establish incubation system to assist the growth of enterprises in the park in all directions, build industrial chain to promote upstream and downstream cooperation, maintain attention to the needs of entrepreneurs and use high-quality services to solve their worries, which are the necessary elements to stand out from many similar parks. Therefore, Hangzhou Medical Port constructs six key chains: industrial chain, innovation chain, ecological chain, talent chain, financial chain and service chain.
Vcbeat.top noticed that in the industrial chain of Hangzhou Medical Port, more than 1000 biotechnology enterprises were gathered, covering the core areas of biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, biomedical engineering, medical big data, and so on. Seven of the global TOP10 pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, Merck settled here. By combing the development process of domestic biopharmaceutical industry cluster, vcbeat.top found that the perfect upstream and downstream industrial chain can make the park and its surrounding enterprises to form a cooperative relationship, promote intra-industry cooperation, so as to make more smooth communication between enterprises, and further promote the core product verification and landing.
Secondly, in the innovation transformation and ecological development with the most urgent need, Hangzhou Medical Port has been building 11 innovative service platforms with prestigious schools worldwide. The innovation transformation center of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou Medical Port clinical trial center of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, the public service platform of biopharmaceutical research and development of Hangzhou Medical Port, the medical device testing institute of Zhejiang Province and other public service platforms, domestic and foreign third-party biopharmaceutical science and technology service institutions have landed successively, constructing a complete support chain from laboratory research, preclinical research, clinical trial to registration and approval, drug production and marketing, which can correct and improve the drawbacks of early innovative and entrepreneurial projects specifically.
Furthermore, Hangzhou Medical Port provides a strong intellectual support for the transformation and growth of innovative and entrepreneurial projects by gathering “upstanding and dauntless” leading talents, “pyramid” talent system constructed by “overwhelming” research and design and practical talents. The park exerts the industry mother fund energy efficiency of 5 billion yuan, integrates the financial chain formed by the top pharmaceutical funds at home and abroad, to inject vitality into the innovative and entrepreneurial projects continuously. Vcbeat.top learned that the park financial chain has completed the investment of 22 projects, with the actual investment amount of more than 700 million yuan.
The responsible person Hangzhou Medical Port said he was pleased to see that all kinds of innovative and entrepreneurial teams have shown great enthusiasm for the transformation of scientific and technological achievements in this project selection, and that high-level talents have actively participated, and that universities, scientific research institutes and enterprises have formed a community of innovative interests. “Hangzhou Medical Port will continue to give full play to the advantages of the whole chain ecosystem, vigorously introduce large hospitals and famous universities and head medical resources, build innovative carriers together!