Contract drug research company QPS hosts delegation from Taiwan

The Taiwan delegation.

QPS, a Newark-based global contract research organization is highlighting continuing growth in Asia.

Recently, QPS hosted a 28-member delegation from Taiwan at its headquarters in Delaware to discuss Taiwan’s growing biotech market. “The opportunities in Taiwan continue to drive growth for QPS,” said Ben Hsu, Chief Administrative Officer, QPS. “We were honored to host the most influential pharmaceutical and biotech leaders in Taiwan.”

According to the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office, a government organization under the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan’s government, the amount of private investment in Taiwan’s biomedical industries has increased steadily. In 2016, the investment amounted to more than $1.5 billion, with 38 percent of the investment dollars focused on pharmaceuticals and another 23 percent allocated to applied biotechnology.

By 2025, Taiwan plans to develop and market 20 new drugs. To achieve this goal, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration Ministry for Health and Welfare, has simplified its First In Human (FIH) regulatory approval process, reducing timelines to 30 business days.

John Kolman, Vice President and Global Head of Translational Medicine for QPS, explains the organization of the QPS Translational Medicine laboratory facilities in Newark.

“The demand for FIH studies is rapidly increasing and there are very few sites around the world that can conduct them. QPS is well-known for its success in FIH studies and we are well established in Taiwan, covering the full complement of lab services and clinical trials management,” said Hsu. “QPS in Taiwan has conducted more than 1,800 GLP preclinical studies and 400+ clinical trials for drug candidates, involving more than 49,000 subjects and 1,500 sites; we anticipate continued growth.”

“Asian biotech companies that plan to keep research and development in Asia, as well as biotech and pharmaceutical companies around the globe that are considering outsourcing to Asia, need to closely scrutinize CRO candidates to ensure the selected partner is equipped with the necessary preclinical expertise and facilities to do the work that enables sponsors to open INDs,” said Hsu. “QPS delivers a comprehensive preclinical strategy as the IND submission process is complex and requires several different preclinical studies that all closely align with FDA guidance. We can point to a long list of dossiers we’ve compiled for US FDA and Taiwan IND submissions.”

As the Taiwanese market continues to expand, China has made developing a world-class pharmaceutical business a priority. China-based VC funds are pouring billions into private U.S.-based biotech firms with the goal of bringing drugs to market in Asia and the U.S. simultaneously. Additionally, India has emerged as a leading destination for clinical trials and drug development research, a QPS release stated.

“Asia now hosts 23.6 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical companies. And, many of the thousands of small biotech companies located around the globe are looking to Asia to support their research and development needs,” said Hsu. “QPS was an early entrant in the Asian market, and to support the region’s rapid growth we’ve bolstered our presence in Asia with six locations – three in Taiwan, two in China and one in India.”

The global outlook for drug development is stronger than ever. “With 11 turnkey facilities across six global regions, QPS is well-positioned to grow as the market expands,” said Hsu. “Whether sponsors are looking to outsource drug development research to Asia, Europe or the U.S., QPS has the preclinical expertise and facilities to enable sponsors to open an IND and take drug candidates through Phase II and beyond.”

QPS has 250 employees and 70,000-plus square-feet of lab space in Delaware.

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