Dr Michaela Friz (1st left), Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation at the Medical University of Vienna, Dr Gernot Schabbauer (2nd left), Institute for Vascular Biology and Thrombosis, Dr Stephen Bluml (3rd left), Department of Rheumatology, Medical University of Vienna, Dr Paul Cheng (3rd from the right), CEO, Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited, Hong Kong, Dr Ulrike Unterer (2nd right), Vice-President of the Christian Doppler Research Association at BMDW and Dr Jorg Menche (1st right), CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine Scientific collaborator, at the Christian Doppler Laboratory Award Kick-off ceremony at the Rector’s Hall at the Medical University of Vienna on March 5, 2018.
Hong Kong, 29 March, 2018 – Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) congratulates partner company Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited (BCT) on winning Austria’s prestigious Christian Doppler Laboratory (CD Lab) Award for its joint lab with Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna). The award comes with seven-year funding for the CD Lab for Arginine Metabolism from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW). The award will help further the lab’s work on finding treatment options for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, based on BCT’s proven research results using recombinant human arginase to treat cancers and autoimmune diseases.
The Christian Doppler Research Association provides funding for CD Labs at universities and non-university research institutions, which are specially established research units operating on fixed terms to pursue application-orientated basic research. Under the direction of highly qualified scientists, CD Labs work closely with commercial partners to produce innovative responses to business-related research issues. The association has been an important and successful feature on the Austrian research landscape for many years. The funding models of the CD Labs are considered important instruments for BMDW to fund scientific research that meets business needs.
Deriving autoimmune disease treatments from BCT’s innovative biologic drug
The CD Lab’s research is based on BCT’s innovative biologic drug BCT-100.The active ingredient of BCT-100, recombinant human arginase 1, is an arginine-depleting enzyme. Besides showing very promising results in treating late-stage melanoma through arginine depletion in a US clinical trial, the drug may induce remission of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS) by modulating T-cells (a class of white blood cells).
BCT has been collaborating with MedUni Vienna for several years in finding treatment options for autoimmune diseases. “Our work has confirmed that our medicine BCT-100 is effective in treating autoimmune diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, which are relatively more prevalent among Caucasians. Reports on the research findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals of high impact factors. The CD Lab Award proves that our research work is valued by the European community and will provide MedUni Vienna with additional funding to further the research on autoimmune disease treatments,” said Dr Paul Cheng, BCT’s Chief Executive Officer.
BCT joined Hong Kong Science Park in 2007 to leverage the Park’s advanced laboratory facilities, which Dr Cheng believes are crucial for biotechnology companies to conduct cutting-edge R&D work.
HKSTP’s Chief Executive Albert Wong applauds the latest achievement of Dr Cheng and his lab partners. “BCT is a classic example of what HKSTP would like to achieve with partner companies. We hope that there will be more companies building a strong foothold in Hong Kong Science Park, achieving success with their R&D work in the ecosystem, and then taking their work globally to further excavate the potential of their research results. BCT’s achievements have again proved that the biomedical technology companies in Hong Kong can be successful and make an impact on the healthcare system globally. Biomedical technology is a key area into which we intend to inject more resources to establish a leading edge for Hong Kong,” Mr Wong said.
About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.
Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long. More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.
About Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited
Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited (BCT) was founded in 2000. BCT is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company which focuses on research and development of cancer and immune disorders treatments and innovative biopharmaceuticals. The company’s main products are BCT-100 and BCT-200, which are both PEGylated recombinant human arginase 1 (pegArg1). They create an environment where cancer cells cannot maintain its arginine level, thus prevent growth of the tumour and causes apoptosis of the cells. BCT has completed the patient recruitment for BCT-100’s Phase 1 clinical trial in the US, which focuses on the treatment for arginine auxotrophic cancers. A post immuno-oncology therapy stage IV melanoma patient after receiving BCT-100 for 22 weeks has been shown to have complete remission (CR). Recently, BCT has amended the protocol with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for it to recruit from January 2018 up to 22 additional melanoma patients to assess overall melanoma treatment response (making it a de facto Phase 2a trial). In Hong Kong, a Phase 2 clinical trial focusing on the treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is being held. BCT-200 is a modified version of the BCT-100’s arginine sequence, currently, it is still in the pre-IND stage.
BCT International Limited
Tel: +852 2521 1566
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Tel: +852 2629 6891