Supply chain
MOST introduces SmartLabs to Taiwan
Bryan Chuang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES

Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has approved the establishment of a biomedical entrepreneurship base at Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park by US-based accelerator SmartLabs to support Taiwan's biomedical startups, according to MOST.

The base, under MOST's financial sponsorship and technological support from government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), will be linked to Taiwan's universities, related research organizations, hospitals and biomedical industry, MOST noted.

SmartLabs focuses on accelerating startups engaged in R&D of treating cancers and rare diseases and has incubated six of the globally top-10 gene editing startup businesses including Editas Medicine and CRISPR Therapeutics, according to company CEO Amrit Chaudhuri, adding that SmartLabs has helped 10 startup businesses raise US$7 billion via IPO.

The base to be set up in Taiwan is SmartLabs' first overseas base, as Taiwan's advanced medical care and high-tech industries can play a portal for SmartLabs' entry into Asia Pacific's biomedical startup market, Chaudhuri explained.

MOST and SmartLabs will work together to select Taiwan-based biomedical startups for the SmartLabs Global Launch program, which will provide customized and localized accelerator services focusing on international marketing, compliance with patent and administrative regulations related to biomedicine, financial planning and fundraising, MOST indicated. SmartLabs and enterprises stationed in the biomedical science park are expected to form an international biomedical entrepreneurship community, bringing more innovative elements for Taiwan-based biomedical startup businesses, MOST said.

MOST will subsidize outstanding startups for a 3-month practical training at SmartLabs' headquarters in Boston to enhance their international competitiveness.

According to Deloitte Taiwan, nearly 300 new pharmaceutical items are under clinical trials in Taiwan's new drug market, 47-50 of them being in phase-three clinical trials.

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