Fostering partnerships for health
This has been a remarkable year for CRIS and our programmes.
Join us as we take a look at the key highlights in 2023 in fostering partnerships for health.
Elevating Singapore’s clinical research landscape
Our team at the Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI) hosted several roundtable discussions this year, as part of their mission to enhance the standards of clinical research capabilities in Singapore.
In June 2023, the SCRI CRO roundtable gathered some 60 partners from the clinical research ecosystem, where they announced plans to kickstart a Clinical Research Professionals association in Singapore to support, provide leadership, as well as drive research excellence for the clinical research community.
SCRI roundtable in June 2023 which gathered 60 over partners from the clinical ecosystem
In August 2023, the roundtable on Decentralised Clinical Trials drew over 70 clinical research professionals and featured a lively panel discussion with panellists from the Health Sciences Authority, Cardiovascular Disease National Collaborative Enterprise (CADENCE), and representatives from the Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) such as Roche, Novartis, Pfizer, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd.
SCRI roundtable on Decentralised Clinical trials in August 2023
The session also included updates on SCRI’s key initiatives to strengthen Singapore’s clinical research ecosystem, including the master clinical trial agreement to reduce trial start-up time, and expansion of regional Clinical Research Networks.
Advancing regional research and collaboration through Clinical Research Networks
As part of SCRI’s commitment to develop Clinical Research Networks (CRN) to enhance regional research partnerships, several significant initiatives were launched this year.
SCRI supported the implementation of the ADVANcing Clinical Evidence in Infectious Diseases (ADVANCE-ID) Network, a regional research collaboration involving research networks and 30 hospitals across Asia.
SCRI-PAROS Meeting in Philippines
In April 2023, a partnership was formed with the Philippines Pan Asian Resuscitation Outcomes Study (PAROS) with Pre-hospital and Emergency Care (PEC) providers conducting research in the Asia Pacific region. In May, SCRI organised the Paediatric Acute and Critical Care Medicine Asian Network (PACCMAN) meeting in Phuket. The PACCMAN meeting comprised sharing sessions on paediatric trials and on current and upcoming PACCMAN studies, furthering the CRN’s aims to support and stimulate research in pediatric intensive care in Asia.
US FDA Commissioner Dr Robert Califf visits ACTRIS and participated in a scientific roundtable
The Advanced Cell Therapy and Research Institute, Singapore (ACTRIS) was privileged to host US FDA Commissioner Dr Robert Califf for a laboratory tour in September 2023.
Dr Califf, Prof John Lim and A/Prof Danny Soon with CRIS staff at the scientific roundtable
Dr Califf also participated in a scientific roundtable discussion facilitated by the Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE). CRIS Chairman and CoRE Executive Director Prof John Lim and CRIS CEO A/Prof Danny Soon co-chaired the session with participants from across our health clusters and universities. Topics included cell and gene therapy, precision medicine, AI and translational cancer research.
View more here.
STCC’s first cross-border partnership with the Australian Victorian Cancer Biobank to empower biobanking and cancer research
In May 2023, the Singapore Translational Cancer Consortium (STCC) signed its first cross-border partnership with the Australian Victorian Cancer Biobank to foster collaborations in translational oncology research.
Dr Eng Chon Boon (STCC) and Dr Wayne Ng (VCB) signing the MOU at ISBER 2023
As part of the agreement, STCC and VCB will share its oncology specimen databases, allowing researchers to access a wider array of tissue samples for cancer research, cross-sharing of tissue banking best practices and establishing outreach programmes to advance clinical research collaborations between the two countries.
Read more here.
Advancing Insights: STCC and Amgen embark on a Research Collaboration Agreement to study the biology of small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2020 globally, with 2.2 million new cases, accounting for 11.4% of cancers worldwide.
In Singapore, lung cancer is also one of the three most frequently diagnosed cancer among patients, and is the leading cause of cancer deaths among males. Of these, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents approximately 10 to 15% of all lung cancer patients globally.
STCC-Amgen collaboration in September 2023
In September 2023, STCC and its institutional partners announced a collaboration with Amgen on a retrospective non-interventional study to better understand the biology of SCLC, using investigational tools that could expand the knowledge underpinning distinct molecular subtypes of SCLC to enable a targeted treatment approach.
This multi-centre retrospective non-interventional study will be conducted at the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore General Hospital, and the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore.
Read more here.
STCC meets with CancerModels.org
In November 2023, the STCC team was thrilled to meet with CancerModels.Org to learn about the meaningful work which the organisation does to build an open-source and community-driven resource which standardises, integrates and publishes the complex and diverse data associated with patient-derived cancer xenografts, organoids and cell lines.
STCC team with with Zinaida Perova from CancerModels.org
This initiative enables researchers and institutions from around the world to find and access patient derived cancer models, contribute to a shared knowledge pool, accelerate cancer research, and develop personalised cancer treatments.
As CancerModels.org begins their next phase of development in Singapore and the APAC region, STCC looks forward to embarking on a meaningful partnership with them.
STCC and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) embark on research collaboration to advance an organ-on-chip platform leveraging Philips’ technology
In December, STCC and NCCS announced a research collaboration that will advance an Organ-on-Chip (OoC) platform leveraging Philips’ technology. OoCs are systems containing tissues that grow inside microfluidic chips which are able to mimic human physiology. The aim of the collaboration is to develop an OoC platform to enhance in-vitro pre-clinical cancer research in Singapore.
The OoC platform, to be developed together with the Philips technology licencing team, will generate tumour organoid models at scale and enable high-throughput approaches, increasing the potential to accelerate cancer research and enable researchers to develop more effective and targeted cancer treatments. This initiative will further support STCC’s objectives to be a one-stop centre for academics and industry players to come together, collaborate and utilise ex-vivo tumour models for biomarker identification, validation, and drug candidate discovery.
Engaging in insightful dialogue with healthcare delegates from Indonesia
In December 2023, CRIS hosted key healthcare leaders from Indonesia, including Dr L. Rizka Andalucia, Director General for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices at the Ministry of Health, Indonesia, Dr Reni Wigati, Medical and Nursing Director, Dharmais Cancer Hospital and Dr Harvey Romolo, Clinician at Dharmais Cancer Hospital.
Group photo of CRIS staff and Indonesian healthcare leaders at the meeting
Joined by CRIS Chairman Prof John Lim and Assistant Professor Tan-Koi Wei-Chuen, Regulatory System Strengthening, Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE), Duke-NUS Medical School, along with representatives from CRIS’s programmes, the session delved into insightful discussions.
Prof John Lim, who is also the Executive Director of CoRE, shared initiatives fostering regulatory excellence at Duke-NUS Medical School. Mr Martin Lim, founder and CEO of ONWARD Health, elaborated on his company’s role in healthcare innovation, spotlighting ONWARDAccess, a technology platform tailored for clinical trial protocols.
Dr Huijia Chen, Ms Chew Gin Lim, Dr Pauline Tay, Mr Clarence Khoo, and Dr Sudipto Bari, provided overviews of initiatives by CRIS and our programmes. The engaging discussions covered a spectrum of healthcare innovation and research topics, from improving the clinical trial landscape to healthcare innovation, and transformative cancer research.
Our team at ACTRIS also led the delegation on a tour of its translational laboratories at its cell therapy and process development facility. The afternoon was marked by vibrant conversations and insightful questions, reflecting a shared commitment to advancing healthcare and fostering collaboration in the industry.
Check out highlights from the visit here.
Spotlight on CRIS at Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology 2023
CRIS and its programmes were thrilled to return as a content and exhibiting partner at the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) 2023, held from 31 October to 2 November.
Clockwise from L-R: Dr Cheong Wei Yang, A/Prof Danny Soon, Dr Pauline Tay, Prof Chng Wee Joo, panel speakers Dr Lai Wen Bin, Alicia Ng, Dr Seow Shih Wee and Dr Pauline Tay, Group photo of CRIS and MayoClinic
Highlights included curating dedicated healthcare zone on the tradeshow floor, showcasing National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC) portfolio companies and their latest healthtech/medtech prototypes and products, as well as exciting panels led by our programmes Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI), Precision Health Research, Singapore (PRECISE) and NHIC at the SWITCH Beyond conference series.
This event, organised by Enterprise SG and supported by the National Research Foundation, provided an opportunity for CRIS and its programmes to network, collaborate and exchange knowledge with partners and stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Check out more event highlights here.
Fuelling healthcare innovation through NHIC’s I2Start programme
In 2023, NHIC and their partners - Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology Centre and Enterprise Singapore - conducted a series of “Innovation to Startup” (I2Start) grant roadshows across the institutes of higher learning and public healthcare clusters that received an overwhelming response of over 100 participants from the ecosystem.
NHIC team and their partners at the I2START roadshow
I2Start is a streamlined funding scheme to support company formation around health and biomedical science innovations. One-on-one sessions were held to provide inputs on the feasibility of participant ideas, suitability of the grant scheme and the potential for commercialisation.