Biotechnology

Taiwan’s Top 10 Biotech Companies

Here are 10 of Taiwan’s innovative biotech companies, including herbal medicines and fat-reducing HIV monoclonal antibody injections.

Taiwan is recognized as a world leader in the IT, semiconductor and electronics industries. Its strengths in these areas translate easily to the biotech industry, leading to a flourishing new sector. Taiwan’s government also sees the biotech industry as key to its national development, presenting precision medicine and medical technology as one of its six major long-term growth strategies.

Over the years, the Taiwanese government has taken an active stance in adopting control and promotion policies to develop and guide the biotechnology industry. The government has also invested in the industry since the 1980s by establishing Biotechnology Development Center — a non-profit organization whose goal is the development of Taiwan’s biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry — in 1984.

The effort paid off, with Taiwan’s biotech companies receiving more than NT$700 billion ($23.37 billion) in 2021, up nearly 10 percent from 2020. For the past 16 years, Taiwan has also hosted Asia’s largest annual biotech event, BIO Asia-Taiwan. More than 100,000 people visited the 2022 exhibition over four days.

In no particular order, here are 10 Taiwanese biotech companies active in applied biotech and pharmaceuticals.

TailMed Biologics

Headquarters: Taipei

Founded by: 2007 year

TailMed Biologics is a monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug developer and manufacturer that also provides CDMO services. This company was founded by David Ho, a renowned AIDS researcher who first advocated a cocktail of protease inhibitors and antiretroviral therapy as a treatment for AIDS; Tsai Ing-wen, current President of the Republic of China; and Lan Bo Chen, professor emeritus of pathology at Harvard Medical School.

In 2007, Genentech licensed Trogarzo (ibalizumab), an HIV/AIDS mAb, to TailMed to complete development of the drug. In 2018 and 2019, ibalizumab was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency, respectively. TailMed is currently working on other ways to administer ibalizumab, new technologies to overcome ibalizumab resistance, and broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies.

PhytoHealth Corp.

Headquarters: Taipei

Founded by: 1998 year

Astragalus membranous. Photo/Shutterstock.

PhytoHealth was the first drug development company to be listed on the Taiwan stock market. The company specializes in the development of botanical drugs — drugs with plant compounds based on traditional Chinese medicine. In 2010, Taiwan approved PhytoHealth’s botanical drug for cancer-related fatigue, which is an injection of freeze-dried carbohydrate molecules isolated from a flowering plant. Astragalus membranous. The US Food and Drug Administration has granted the same drug orphan drug status for the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: a blood disorder in which the number of platelets in the blood is abnormally low. PhytoHealth has several other candidates in development, three of which have completed Phase 3 clinical trials and received FDA Fast Track.

Lumosa Therapeutics

Headquarters: Taipei

Founded by: 2000 year

Lumosa Therapeutics is a clinical company developing solutions for neurological and oncology diseases. Naldebain, their first marketed product, is the world’s first analgesic injection for postoperative pain that provides continuous pain relief for seven days, avoiding opioid dependence.

Another product in development is a new molecule consisting of a synthetic peptide and an antioxidant that restores blocked blood flow without causing hemorrhage for the treatment of acute ischemic strokes. This is an unmet medical need because the only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic stroke is limited to patients within 3-4.5 hours of stroke onset due to the increased risk of hemorrhage, making the actual use of this drug in the clinic only 1-8 percent.

AltruBio

Headquarters: Taipei

Founded by: 2001 year

AltruBio is developing first-in-class immunomodulators for the treatment and prevention of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Their most advanced program, neugulizumab, is a first-in-class antibody with a unique mechanism of action: it selectively targets and destroys chronically activated T cells involved in immune-mediated diseases while keeping other T cells intact to maintain host defenses. Neihulizumab has demonstrated clinical efficacy in phase 2a trials in psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis and is currently in phase 1 trials in acute graft-versus-host disease. Another T-cell modulator is in preclinical development as an alternative to long-term immunosuppressive drugs after solid organ transplantation.

ScinoPharm Taiwan

Headquarters: Tainan

Founded by: 1997 year

ScinoPharm is a global producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), engaged in their research, development, production and sales. In addition to being a key supplier of APIs to the global pharmaceutical industry, ScinoPharm also provides outsourcing services. The main products supplied include anticancer APIs, protein drugs, peptides, small molecule novel drugs and injectables.

Acepodia

Headquarters: New Taipei City

Founded by: 2017 year

Acepodia is focused on developing next-generation cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer using a proprietary antibody-cell conjugation (ACC) platform. ACC is a tumor-targeting technology that simply and cost-effectively binds antibodies directly to gamma delta (γδ) T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. to enhance their ability to destroy tumors without the need for genetic manipulation. Traditional cellular immunotherapy relies on genetic manipulation of T cells to introduce specific antigen receptors that can hone in on cancer cells.

The most advanced product in their pipeline is the off-the-shelf ACC-oNK cell therapy conjugated to a HER2 antibody for the treatment of HER2-expressing tumors, which is in Phase 1 testing. γδ T-cell therapy candidate targets CD20-expressing blood cancers and enters Phase 1 trials.

Caliway Biopharmaceuticals

Headquarters: New Taipei City

Founded by: 2012 year

Caliway Biopharmaceuticals is developing new small molecule drugs for both therapeutic and aesthetic purposes. Their leading candidate is an injection that destroys fat cells at the injection site. The drug has completed Phase 2a trials for non-surgical fat reduction and is expected to expand its indications to include Dercum’s disease and lipomas, both conditions in which lumps of fat grow under the skin. Other products in clinical development target osteoarthritis, diabetes, hyperpigmentation and aging skin.

Adimmune Corp.

Headquarters: Taichung

Founded by: 1965 year

The oldest company on our list of biotech companies in Taiwan, Adimmune specializes in the research and development, processing, production and sales of human vaccines. It is the only flu vaccine manufacturer in Asia that has EU compliant manufacturing practices and is US FDA certified. In addition to supplying more than 30 million doses of influenza vaccine domestically, Adimmune has expanded into international markets, with its quadrivalent influenza vaccine targeting four different antigens commercialized in the US with Sanofi and completing phase 3 trials in the EU.

vaccine biotech
Photo/Shutterstock

Other products include vaccines against tetanus and Japanese encephalitis, vaccines against enterovirus 71 — responsible for severe neurological disease and hand, foot and mouth disease in children — and COVID-19 in development. Adimmune is also developing a plasmid production platform for mass production of DNA to meet the growing demand for DNA and RNA therapies.

Steminent Biotherapeutics

Headquarters: Taipei

Founded by: 2009 year

Steminent is a stem cell research and development company developing novel cell therapeutics under its Stemchymal portfolio. Stemchymal products are made from stem cells isolated from donor human adipose tissue. Steminent’s most advanced cell therapy is in Phase 2 trials for the treatment of spinocerebellar ataxia, a rare neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive difficulty with coordination. Other therapies include a Phase 1 knee osteoarthritis candidate, in addition to preclinical programs in acute liver failure and drug-induced liver injury.

United BioPharma

Headquarters: Hsinchu

Founded by: 2013 year

United BioPharma is focused on developing innovative mAbs for the treatment of infectious diseases, immune disorders and cancer. Their lead candidate is a mAb being studied for three different HIV indications in Phase 2 and 3 trials. Other candidates in clinical trials include mAbs for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes and chronic spontaneous urticaria, an autoimmune disease in which hives develop spontaneously.

This company also has three mAbs in preclinical development for breast cancer, gastric cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Using proprietary technology, United BioPharma can produce mAbs with enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, the mechanism by which mAbs recognize and kill tumor cells.

https://www.labiotech.eu/best-biotech/10-biotech-companies-taiwan/ Taiwan’s Top 10 Biotech Companies

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