, Hong Kong
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Photo from ASGH

HK targets global medical hub status with new initiatives

The city has set up 16 life and health R&D centers as part of its InnoHK initiative.

Hong Kong, for all its financial success, is aiming for a new feat: to be a global medical hub. And it is already quite advanced on this path, thanks to substantial investments in technology and strategic collaborations.

Amongst these investments and collaborations is the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park.

In his speech at the opening of the fourth Asia Summit on Global Health (ASGH), Chief Executive John Lee said the park, part of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone, will start unveiling its first buildings later this year.

Life and health technology will be a focus of the park’s research and development work.

Hong Kong has also established 16 life and health-related research and development (R&D) centres in the InnoHK research clusters.

In terms of financial investments, the city has injected billions of dollars into the health industry to fund projects such as the RAISe+ Scheme and support life and health technology.

Hong Kong also has policies to expedite the registration of new drugs through the “1+” mechanism rolled out last November.

“The mechanism allows for the registration of specific new drugs that are supported with local clinical data, with the approval from only one reference drug regulatory authority,” Lee said.

The measure also aims to attract more drug development, increase clinical trials, and strengthen the drug evaluation ability and expertise of Hong Kong.

Soon-to-rise facilities

Lee said the government is also working on establishing the Hong Kong Centre for Medical Products Regulation, which the city aims to be an internationally recognised authority that registers drugs and medical devices under the “primary evaluation” approach.

This means directly approving applications for registration of medical products based on clinical trial data.

Another facility that Hong Kong will set up later this year is the Greater Bay Area International Clinical Trial Institute, in cooperation with Shenzhen.

The facility will serve as a clinical trial support centre for biomedical and research institutions. It will coordinate clinical trial resources for Hong Kong in the public and private sectors.

Private sector efforts

Companies are also doing their part to support the move to make Hong Kong a medical hub.

Fred Tung, deputy chairman of the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA), said in a separate session that the organisation is working with other groups to connect local companies with their counterparts in Mainland China.

Tung said HKMHDIA will expand its coordination with other cities in the Greater Bay Area and other countries.

 

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