Hong Kong Science Park company’s innovative biologic drug forms basis for MedUni Vienna’s research on treatments for autoimmune diseases
29 Mar 2018
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.