Pharmaceutical News
Taiwan aims of becoming the world’s 2nd biggest biotech country

Reported by Yen Sai-Fen
The biotech industry in Taiwan is flouring and is likely to outshine Japan and Israel and become the world’s 2nd largest biotech country in 3 years. 

Dr Chen Liang-Po, the founder of TaiMed Biologic, said in an interview that the current situation of the biotech industry in Taiwan is pretty much a miracle.  Taiwan has a chance to outperform Japan and Israel in 3 years and become the world’s 2nd biggest biotech country, just behind the US.  This development was beyond his imagination 10 years ago, said Dr Chen.

However, without a continuous flow of investment, such development is simply unsustainable.  Biopharmaceutical R&D is not only time consuming, but also requires huge investment.  It is also one of the reasons behind the US’s success. Therefore, Taiwan has to resolve the funding problem for the biotech industry. 

The development of the biotech industry so far was mainly funded by the private sector; but, this funding source is not sustainable.  Dr Chen reckoned that investment by the insurance industry can provides some hope for the future of the biotech industry.

Dr Chen said that he was approached by a group of representatives of the life insurance companies about 7 or 8 years ago when he was still working in New York.  The life insurance companies would like to divert their investment to the biotech industry.  However, this plan was futile as the government reckoned the risk was too high. 

 “The government could raise a fund of NT$30billion to set up a biotech investment bank and divert the risk by buying reinsurance policy from other countries,” said Dr Chen.  The most important driving force behind the development of the biotech industry is funding.  The government should make it a top priority to divert investors’ money to the biotech industry.

【2014-7-10/ Money Weekly】