Latest News

With Precision Health its new focus, Taiwan shines at BIO 2022 G

With Precision Health its new focus, Taiwan shines at BIO 2022 Global Innovation HUB Presentations

24 June, 2022
Press release, Taiwan BIO
A large Taiwanese delegation travelled to San Diego, USA, to attend the annual BIO 2022 Conference and Exhibition, held 13-16 June, returning to an onsite format after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus. Taiwan’s delegation to BIO 2022 was led by Wu Tsung-tsong, deputy convener of Board of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan. Delegates included representatives from the full spectrum of Taiwan healthcare and life sciences, including industry, academia and government. As in previous years a Taiwan Pavilion was set up at the exhibition to showcase Taiwan achievements and offerings. The pavilion hosted a visit by BIO president Michelle McMurray-Heath as well as other VIPs over the course of the convention, and was also the venue for an industry networking tea party held on the 14th of June.
Taiwan this year was invited to participate in the Global Innovation HUB Presentations program, where Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO) Secretary General Dr. Wallace Lin, on behalf of the Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office (BPIPO) of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), made a presentation introducing Taiwan’s bioindustries and the government’s industry development efforts.
In his presentation Lin explained that as the global biomedical industry had shifted its focus over the last 15 years from a one-size-fits-all paradigm towards personalized or precision medicine, these shifts were also present in Taiwan, where it had now encompassed a new ‘Precision Health’ doctrine. Precision health included conventional elements of precision medicine but also preventative healthcare at one end of the spectrum and aged care at the other, and was driven by data at every step of the way.
“President Tsai Eng-wen in her inauguration address in 2020 introduced the ‘Precision Health Initiative’ as one of Six Core Strategic Industries of new government developmental focus. The Precision Health Initiative would be the framework for both healthcare and biomedical industry development in Taiwan in the years ahead,” said Lin. 
The Initiative would be dependent on data, and utilize biomedical data / ICT industry integration. This ‘Precision Health Data Platform’ would include inputs from the Blockchain, Cloud, IoT, Cyber Security, 5G and AI.
“The Precision Health Initiative will integrate many elements of the healthcare and bioindustry industry, and include the following sectors: Nutrition and health, Medical devices and epidemic prevention, Pharmaceuticals, Precision medicine, Regenerative medicine, Health management, and Smart health,” said Lin. 
With the Precision Health Initiative as its new focus, Taiwan was well placed to play a significant role in the global biomedical industry, helped by high rankings in many international business metrics, including 4th out of 50 countries in ‘Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) Environmental Risks of Investment& World Competitiveness’; 1st in the world in Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) ranking of Semiconductor Material Markets; 1st in the world in Numbeo’s Health Care Index; and 5th in APAC nations in Fitch Solution’s Innovative Pharmaceuticals Risk/Reward Index & Competitiveness ranking.
Taiwan’s bioindustry landscape currently included 651 applied biotech, 375 pharmaceutical and 1,216 medical device companies, located in bioclusters throughout the island. With over 160 academic institutes, 143 hospitals, 23 clinical trial centers and 41 CROs, Taiwan had a significant research and clinical development capacity.
Taiwan’s renowned ICT industry meant that it already had an advantage in data-driven precision health. With resources and innovation across the spectrum from hardware to software and services, ICT and biomedical integration made possible advances in wearable devices, mobile health, health information technology, and telemedicine. And with Taiwan’s National Health Insurance providing quality universal healthcare to its entire population, long-term biodata was being collected in the National Health Insurance Research Database (850 million records collected annually) with the National Biobank Consortium of Taiwan collecting millions of specimens from over 460,00 participants to date.
Concluding the presentation, international collaboration models and opportunities were highlighted.
“Taiwan welcomes collaboration in new drugs, both small molecules; regenerative medicine and cell and gene therapy; precision medicine; CDMO; clinical trials; ICT; medical devices; and nucleic acid drugs,’ summarized Lin.