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Biotech firm invests in UN drive to cut infant deaths

TAIPEI -- A Taiwanese biomedical company announced Sunday that it will invest NT$30 million (US$991,560) in a United Nations' program to reduce deaths of infants born in unhygienic circumstances in developing nations.

Vectorite Biomedical Inc., a developer of cancer-treating cellular immunotherapies, will team up with children's welfare group Kiwanis Taiwan to take part in the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) program to eradicate deaths from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

The swift and painful killer disease killed 58,000 newborns in 2010 alone, according to UNICEF.

The investment will be directed at preventing deaths of babies, who have a 70-100 percent rate of dying once infected in developing countries, where one baby dies every nine minutes on average from the disease.

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