Pfizer and Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes Sign Precision Medicine Agreement

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The company hopes to benefit citizens and shed new light on the treatment of cancer.

Pfizer Taiwan and the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI), along with two other partnering companies, recently signed a precision medicine cooperation alliance agreement, officially launching a joint initiative to develop precision cancer treatments in Taiwan. The agreement commits all parties to the promotion of research and development on testing and precision medicine treatments for gene mutations that cause cancers. Through this collaboration, the alliance hopes to provide the most precise treatments for cancer patients and enhance Taiwan’s precision medicine development.

Pfizer stood out in the NHRI’s strict selection process due to its genetic testing and analysis application plan, which targets lung cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). It is one of the multinational pharmaceutical companies to join the new alliance.

The NHRI notes that this initiative fulfills an important objective under the government’s “Sustainable Big Data Platform for Precision Health” program, which integrates the resources of government, industry, and academia to build an environment that strengthens clinical research of personalized treatment methods, and spurs the development of Taiwan’s healthcare industry. This agreement is just the beginning; other partners are welcome to join the effort to implement precision medicine in Taiwan. More important, however, are efforts to promote the development of Taiwan’s domestic biotech industry and provide better treatment to patients.

“Our mission is one of continuous innovation to change the lives of patients,” says Pfizer’s Country Manager, Cellina Yeh. Pfizer has long devoted itself to research regarding precision medicine, including genetic treatment options. Even for less-common diseases such as GIST or ALK/ROS-1 non-small cell lung cancer, Pfizer is actively conducting relevant academic research as a basis for developing treatments.

Yeh emphasizes that Pfizer is fortunate to take the lead in this endeavor, along with its two partner companies. Through this cooperation, Pfizer not only wishes to benefit patients across the country, but also to catalyze breakthrough developments in cancer treatment research. Yeh also urges other players in Taiwan’s biotechnology industry to partake in the joint effort and realize the full potential of government-industry-academia cooperation in this area. 

Rochelle Leah Chaiken, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Emerging Markets, stresses that precision medicine is not merely a strategic undertaking at Pfizer, it is a core principle that guides the company’s actions. New technological developments have enabled Pfizer to redefine its research methods. Precision medicine utilizes the most advanced science to better understand the biological basis of diseases, information that Pfizer then applies to its development of innovative new drugs tailored to individual patients. As a major participant in medical research, Pfizer will invest in precision medicine across the entire organization and extend the approach’s advantages beyond cancers to rare diseases and immunology, among other relevant fields.