A study by Grand View Research Inc in 2015 has estimated that the global biotechnology market would be worth more than USD$600 billion by 2020. The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience the most significant growth at 14.8 percent annually till 2020 due to the untapped opportunities available in Asia’s emerging markets, including China and India.
The past decade has seen a number of biotechnology startups establishing themselves in many Asian countries. Here’s a list of notable biotech startups in Asia that has shook-up the region’s biotechnology sector over the last few years.
Using a combination of artificial intelligence, the Internet, and an individual’s behavioural, biological and psychological data, the company aims to provide a digital ecosystem of every stage of a human’s life. The goal is to provide better healthcare management solutions and develop medical innovations through the analysis of big data and machine learning. Founded by Wang Jun in October 2015, ICarbonX is currently valued at US$1 billion.
Zai Lab (China)
Biotech startup that focuses on discovering, developing, commercialising innovative drugs through its unique approach of combining both in-house R&D and in-licensed products. In January 2016, the company raised US$100 million in its Series B round of funding, led by Advantech Capital.
Achira Labs (India)
Focuses on microfluids technology to provide quick, affordable and easy access to accurate medical testing for physicians and patients. The company is currently developing a lab-on-chip platform to perform protein medical diagnosis at a relatively low cost.
Through its brand Proviera, the company produces products that serve as an alternative to the environmentally-harmful chemicals used in industrial processes, particularly in the leather processing, textile processing and hospitality industries. Their products are fully biodegradable, non-toxic and only uses natural ingredients.
Led by CEO Farouk Meralli, mClinica provides data, analytics services and patient engagement tools for healthcare organisations in emerging Asians markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Data that is collected from patients allow mClinica to provide analytics and advisory services for healthcare organisations to understand and manage their patients better, and improve their health outcomes.
Digital healthcare analytics company that takes advantage of existing technology such as mobile devices, machine learning, sensors and data sciences to manage and improve patient’s lives. A propriety remote monitoring system allows for physicians and doctors to manage patients with chronic illnesses continuously, outside of healthcare institutions.
Aslan Pharmaceuticals (Singapore)
An oncology-focused biotechnology company that develops immuno-oncology agents and targeted therapies for tumour types prevalent in Asia, including gastric cancer and breasts cancer. The company has raised more than US100 million from its funding rounds, with the latest pre-IPO financing round in July 2016 raised US$23 million from investors.
Prenetics (Hong Kong)
DNA biotechnology company that specialises in Pharmacogenomics. Its proprietary technology enables doctors and physicians to identify the appropriate drug and dosage for patients, and avoid any potential adverse drug effects based on their genetics profile. This allows for an improved quality of life for patients and provide cost savings for healthcare organisations.
A biotechnology company focused on developing and providing more effective therapeutics and supportive care products for patients. Its proprietary antibody discovery and engineering system, coupled with the company’s deep knowledge in NGS, bioinformatics and antibody biology, allows for drugs to be developed quickly and effectively.
Advanced biomaterials company focused developing biomaterials through recombinant technology. Spiber focuses its R&D on a recombinant that is based on spider silk fibroin protein, allowing for the biomaterial to be used in products such as industrial clothing that require high durability, elasticity and flexibility.
Healcerion (South Korea)
Delivering affordable, high quality medical care in remote locations worldwide through its proprietary mobile-based healthcare system that provides portability and flexibility for patients and physicians. Its first product is SONON, a mobile ultrasound imaging device.