Hong Kong has attracted 45 life sciences and technology companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong, investing HK$6.5 billion (US$832 million) since last year, in an effort to make Hong Kong a vibrant city. Officials say this is a worldwide positive response. Health Innovation Hub.

Maggie Lo, vice president of life and health technology at Oasis, said on Wednesday that Hong Kong has several advantages for such companies. He said it offers funding opportunities, cutting-edge research capabilities, strong policy support and a diverse talent pool.

Foreign companies have been pleasantly surprised that the Hong Kong government has created financial incentives to support all stages of their development, from basic research to clinical trials, manufacturing and sales and marketing, he said. .

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Kathu (back row, 4th from left) and Finance Minister Paul Chan Mopo (back row, 4th from left) attend the Oasis Partnership signing ceremony held at the Central Government Building in Admiral Chong on March 20, 2024. to Mr. Lee's right).Photo: Sam Tsang

“We are stepping up our efforts [to draw more companies]” added Law. “So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Of the 45 companies, more than 60% are in the therapeutic sector, which includes pharmaceuticals, advanced therapies, and biologics.

Andy Wong, Head of Innovation and Technology at InvestHK, said Hong Kong's cutting-edge research capabilities make it well-suited to advance pharmaceutical R&D to discover new drugs and develop advanced medical devices. said.

“It will be a win-win situation for Hong Kong to cooperate with companies from mainland China, which are highly commercialized,” he added.

Mr Wong said diagnostics was a good field for Hong Kong to pursue, as drug development from basic research to clinical trials typically takes more than 10 years. This category includes both imaging and laboratory tests.

In 2018, the city's stock exchange operator Hong Kong exchanges and clearing Introduced new listing rules to allow unprofitable biotech companies to raise capital in Hong Kong. The city became Asia's largest and world's second largest biotech funding venue in 2021.

Mr Wong said the government has come up with a series of support measures for life sciences companies, especially financial policies aimed at benefiting pharmaceutical companies given the high costs of drug development. .

establishment of Greater Bay Area The International Clinical Trials Institute, located in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science, Technology and Innovation Joint Area, aims to help address the city's clinical trial population shortage by collaborating with hospitals in the Bay Area, Wong said. he said.

To speed up the approval process for new drugs, the government is also working to establish its own drug approval authority based on “primary evaluation”, Wong said. This refers to evaluating primary data and information from clinical studies and associated manufacturing details.

Hong Kong currently operates under a “secondary assessment” system that relies on approvals from 36 regulators in mainland China and abroad. Pharmaceutical companies need approval from two or more of these agencies to register their medicines for use in Hong Kong.

In November last year, a new mechanism came into force that requires new drug registration applications to submit approval from only one reference medicines regulatory authority.

The 3rd International Healthcare Week, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Board, will be held from May 15th to 31st. InvestHK and Oasis will present Hong Kong's latest innovation and technology policies and initiatives to international delegates at the upcoming Asia Summit on Global Health. event.

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