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CGMH, GSK to establish clinical R&D center

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH, 林口長庚紀念醫院) in Linkou and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK, 葛蘭素史克) Taiwan yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the CGMH-GSK Clinical Research & Development Center (長庚紀念醫院-葛蘭素史克臨床研發中心).

Aiming to discover potential medications for clinical diagnoses, CGMH and GSK will collaborate on researching and developing solutions for geriatric chronic diseases, Asian interfamilial transmission, rare and orphan diseases and tailored targeted treatments.

The new Clinical R&D Center is currently conducting over 20 clinical trials covering medical treatments for diseases spanning from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and melanoma, with more to start in the coming future.

“We are optimistic about Taiwan's health care system and believe that the Clinical R&D Center will bring more innovation and opportunities to Taiwan's medication development,” said General Manager Thomas Willemsen of GSK Taiwan during the question-and-answer session after the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony.

“For the development of drugs, we need strong partners like the CGMH, which is one of GSK's most important development partners in Asia due to its size and excellent human capital. In the last five years we have invested over NT$1 billion in R&D in Taiwan and with today's MOU we commit to further investing into research projects with CGMH covering rare diseases, vaccines, respiratory and oncology for the next 5 years.”

“Signing the memorandum of understanding with GSK Taiwan is a giant step for the hospital to provide patients all over the world better services and higher quality clinical treatments. Chang Gung believes only the most advanced medication can provide superior medical treatment, and that the GSK international research team's vast experience can definitely improve the benefits of patients globally,” said CGMH Superintendent Dr. Weng Wen-neng (翁文能).

In an effort to help the world combat major diseases, such as asthma, antivirals, infections, mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular and digestive conditions, GSK is dedicated to exploring new domains of clinical treatments for everyone, regardless of their race, color, beliefs, religion and gender. GSK Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Shannon explained, “(GSK is) one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world, which is second to none in terms of pipeline size. Attempting to discover solutions for problems of the world and particularly in Taiwan, we are building strong relationships with CGMH for the benefit of patients.”

Thomas Willemsen added, “In collaboration with CGMH, we hope our research will become the key index of clinical trials among Asians, and can help us meet our objectives — (Help patients) do more, feel better and live longer.”

Among all the breakthroughs made by GSK, medication for SLE, which is under clinical trial, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making it the very first medication for SLE in 57 years.

Meanwhile, GSK's newly developed targeted treatment for melanoma has also been confirmed as an effective solution for melanoma, lowering the risks of disease progression caused by melanoma.

Dr. Weng, superintendent of CGMH-Linkou concluded, “The new research center will not only allow Taiwan people to take advantage of the latest medication for treatment, but also promote Taiwan medical development internationally, elevating Chang Gung's leadership among Asia-Pacific clinical research.”

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From left, Chairman Wang Jeng-yi of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) at Linkou's Research and Development Committee, CGMH Superintendent Dr. Weng Wen-neng , GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Taiwan Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Shannon, and GSK Taiwan General Manager Dr. Thomas Willemsen display a memorandum of understanding at the Sheraton Taipei Hotel on Oct. 5. (Wang Chien-yu, The China Post)

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