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Stem Cell Research Strategies in Singapore Presentation at the International Policy Discussion on Stem Cells Medical Research Council, UK 7 January 2003 by Prof Eng Hin LEE Dean, Faculty of Medicine National University of Singapore
Biopolis — Integrate biomedical sciences R&D efforts in Singapore n Research Institutes/Centres (IMCB, BTC, GIS, BII, IBE) n Industry — Focal point for activities in the biomedical sciences — An “intellectual hothouse” for both public and private sectors — Promote interaction of biomedical researchers — Attract international scientists — Stimulate and train local talent together with the Universities
Biomedical Sciences Cluster VISION To make Singapore a Global Hub for Biomedical Sciences in Asia
National BMS Strategy Ministerial Committee International Advisory Council Human Capital Executive Committee Intellectual Capital KEY A*STAR / BMRC EDB/ BMS Ethical Framework (BAC) Industrial Capital Grad/Post-Doc Training Public R&D Investment Promotion Undergraduate Training Industry R&D Equity Investments BMS Education Exploit Technologies Infrastructure Development
Key Tasks of A*STAR 1. Integrate Public Research with Industry Clusters 2. Train Human Capital for Public Research and Industry 3. To Create, Own and Exploit (COE) our Intellectual Capital
Research Councils Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) Oversees & coordinates public sector biomedical sciences R&D activities and manpower development Science & Engineering Research Council (SERC) Oversees & coordinates public sector physical sciences and engineering R&D activities and manpower development
Public research & manpower training: Science and Engineering Research Council Biomedical Research Council (1) Support, sustain and stimulate excellent research directed at maintaining and improving human health (2) Train people in high quality research skills to meet Singapore's needs of health, quality of life and global economic competitiveness (3) Promote societal awareness of biomedical research
International Talent Attraction Leading researchers from US, Europe, and Japan to take up key positions in Singapore’s Biomedical Sciences initiative Dr. Edison Liu, formerly from NCI, heads up the Genome Institute of Singapore Prof. Louis Lim heads up the Biomedical Research Council in the A*STAR Prof. Yoshiaki Ito, Director of Institute of Viral Research at U of Kyoto, joined IMCB with his entire research team Dr Alan Colman, Head of Research at PPL, joined ESI as CSO, to focus on embryonic Dr. Gunaretnam stem cell research Rajagopal heads up the Bioinformatics Institute © Singapore Economic Development Board, 2002
Total Commitment to BMS § Biomedical Research Council Public Budget — Support public research and manpower training – Research institutes – Specialty care centres – Hospitals – Universities § Private R&D Fund — Support corporate R&D centres with grants and loans § Biomedical Sciences Investment Fund — Direct investments in projects to enhance the level of Biomedical Sciences economic activities in Singapore
BMRC R&D Capability Diamond Pharmaceuticals Genomics Medical Technology Molecular Biology Industry Sectors Chemistry Bioinformatics Bioengineering Biotechnology Bioprocessing Healthcare Services BMRC R&D Capability Diamond
Government Funding for BMS R&D over 5 years (2001 - 2005) § Public Sector Fund — S$1 billion § Private/Industry Fund — 2 S$1 billion funds The funding includes Stem Cell Research. BMS R&D in Singapore is predicated on the general principle of excellent science. Only meritorious research programs will be funded and funding for stem cell research will be considered on its scientific merits.
Research Funding BMRC provides major part of funding for biomedical research NMRC (Health Ministry) provides funds to hospitals/national centres for health related research
Stem Cell Research - a key area of research in Singapore Multi-disciplinary approach Researchers from the bioengineering, biomedical and scientific fields. Many hospitals, research institutions, universities and private biomedical companies in Singapore are involved in Stem Cell research eg • National University of Singapore and National Technological University • National University Hospital and Singapore General Hospital • Genome Institute of Singapore • Bioprocessing Technology Centre • ES Cell International
Stem Cell Research in Singapore Embryonic Stem Cells Haemopoeitic Stem Cells Adult Stem Cells
Embryonic Stem Cells Ariff Bongso: first to publish in 1994 Collaboration between NUS, Monash and Hadassah Universities Mouse free feeder layer (2002) Nuclear transfer technology
Adult Stem Cells Mesenchymal Stem Cells derived from Bone Marrow, Periosteum, Skin and Fat Tissue Engineering: Musculoskeletal, Heart, Liver and Skin
Haemopoeitic Stem Cells National University Hospital and Singapore General Hospital • First known successful case in the world of umbilical cord blood transplant in an unrelated donor for thalassemia major • Treatment of leukemia and multiple myeloma using nonmyeloablative approach • First functional cord blood bank set up in Asia
Stem Cell Research Genome Institute of Singapore Has established a new Stem Cell program using genomics platform technologies to explore unchartered territories in stem cell biology To search for novel gene sequences that dictate undifferentiation and differentiation
Stem Cell Research ES Cell International • First to achieve in vitro differentiation of h. ES cells into neuronal cells • Produces h. ES cells in compliance with Nov 2000 NIH guidelines for research use and funding and is listed on the NIH Registry • First to successfully grow an animal-free h. ES line • Currently has 40 scientists • Aims to be world-leading provider of products and technologies derived from h. ES cells
Bioethics Advisory Committee • Guiding Principles Protection of individual’s rights Development of biomedical sciences • Appointed by Cabinet in 2000 to examine legal, ethical & social issues arising from biomedical research and development in Singapore and to recommend policies to the Ministerial Committee on Life sciences on those issues • The Recommendations on Stem Cell Research were made after an extensive process of public consultation with various ethnic, religious, professional and civic groups and after deliberations and careful survey of current practices in leading jurisdictions.
Bioethics Advisory Committee Recommendations on stem cell research and cloning - main points • Reproductive Cloning - Total Ban • Therapeutic Cloning allowed under the following conditions: 4 where there is strong scientific merit in, and potential benefit from such research 4 where no acceptable alternative exists 4 on a highly selective, case-by-case basis, with specific approval from the proposed national statutory authority • Only cells derived from embryos less than 14 days old are allowed to be used These recommendations were accepted by the Government in July 2002 and currently the legislative framework is being drawn up As science progresses, the BAC will review the existing guidelines and make recommendations when deemed necessary.
Expertise in Stem Cell Research in Singapore 1. Embryonic Stem Cells Neurology - Parkinson’s disease Cardiology - Myocardial damage after infarction Endocrinology – Diabetes mellitus h. ES cell lines in animal-free environment 2. Haemopoeitic Stem Cells Allogeneic transplants using non-myeloablative approach in leukaemias Use in solid tumours and severe autoimmune disorders Ex-vivo expansion of stem cells 3. Adult Stem Cells Mesenchymal Stem Cells for tissue engineering of bone, cartilage, ligament and skin
Intellectual Property Ownership • Allow for clear and equitable IP ownership between researcher & funding agency • Strong legal infrastructure in place to : 4 Reward creators of IP 4 Ensures protection of IP Budapest Treaty Paris Convention • • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) World Intellectual Property Org. (WIPO) Trade Related Aspects of IPR (TRIPS) Strong Intellectual Property Rights Protection & Regulations Ranked 1 st in Asia by PERC* from 1997 to 1999 Member of Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) since 2000 Singapore Patents Act (1995) - Enforced by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)
BMRC IP Policy for researchers All IP rights (including without limitation any patent rights, non-patentable processes, innovations, discoveries and inventions, copyrights, design rights, all rights relating to software and technical information) shall be the property of the Institutions in such proportion to be determined by the Institutions
NUS IP Policy Through INTRO University owns IP Net royalty: 50% to PI 30% to the faculty 20% to University
ES Cell International (ESCI) IP Issues • ESCI is developing the h. ES Cell IP created by the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development, the National University of Singapore, the Hadassah Medical Organisation (Israel) and the Hubrecht Laboratory (The Netherlands) • ESCI is the exclusive worldwide licensee of IP resulting from ongoing research of these 4 institutions. • Researchers can apply for access to the 6 h. ES NIH approved cell lines and will be approved on signing an agreement under special terms and conditions.
INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CONFERENCE, SINGAPORE 2003 Date: 28 -30 October 2003 Venue: University Cultural Center, NUS Theme: From Bench to Bedside Objectives: • To raise public awareness of stem cell research in Singapore • To provide an international forum for the academic and scientific discussion of stem cell research • To raise the international standing of Singapore’s stem cell research.
INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CONFERENCE, SINGAPORE 2003 Programme: 10 sessions based on various fields of interests eg Neural, muscle, hematopoeitic, liver stem cells etc. 32 speakers including both foreign and local Target audience: ~250 foreign & ~100 local delegates- by invitation International Advisory Panel: Chairman Professor Sir George Radda and 3 other members Possibility of being an annual event