Several professors of National Yang-Ming University and industry experts have been drawn to this lecture to learn from Chairman Hong-Jen Chang’s (front row, right) expertise, creating new opportunities for industry-academia collaboration.
【The Bio-Navigator Enterprise Lecture】
Biotechnology Industry Development at a Glance from the Aspect of Coronavirus from Wuhan – Hong-Jen Chang’s Shared Expertise
In response to the current emergency state of rapid spread of new COVID-19, the Bio-Navigator Enterprise Lecture, 11TH round, has specially invited Chairman Hong-Jen Chang of YFY Biotech Management Company. He shared his expertise in the management of the biomedical industry and venture capital from the aspects of the biotechnology industry, public health, and health care policies. Chairman Hong-Jen Chang once held the positions of Deputy Minister of Department of Health, Executive Yuan, General Manager of the Bureau of National Health Insurance, Director General of the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health, Executive Yuan, and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Pharmaceutical Affairs, Department of Health, Executive Yuan. He is also the only expert in the biomedical industry of Taiwan experienced in business, politics, academics, medicine, and investment all rolled into one. the participants in this lecture are the entrepreneurial team of YangMing University and experts in the biotechnology industry. He has created more opportunities and possibilities for Taiwan’s biotechnology industry through his shared expertise!
Chairman Hong-Jen Chang raised the topic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic prevention at the start of the lecture. The current medical techniques and public health policies in Taiwan can effectively control COVID-19 infection. However, the real horror is the fear springing from ignorance and the harms caused by discrimination. How to make information transparent and protect personal privacy at the same time to keep the public free from fear, therefore, are very important.
Chairman Hong-Jen Chang considers the globalization of Taiwan’s biotechnology industry his responsibility, which has motivated him to devote himself to the biotechnology industry.
Chairman Hong-Jen Chang mentioned that the movie “Dying to Survive” reveals the three doubts the public has about the pharmaceutical industry: Why are brand drugs so expensive? Why does India have cheap generic drugs while China does not? Why is it illegal to import cheap generic drugs for the sake of saving lives? These complicated questions cover the fields of medical regulations, drug permit license, pricings, and public health. The existence of all these standards also implies that we are caught in the dilemma of developing pharmaceutical industry and safeguarding people’s health. The mission of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has therefore always been to “ensure people’s medication quality, effect, and safety, and speed up innovation, making new drugs higher-quality and safer.” TFDA (Taiwan Food and Drug Administration) takes the mission of "seeking safe and effective medicine, eating in peace of mind and health", and its vision of "the trustworthy guardian of food and medicine to create a safe consumption environment for food and medicine". Taiwan government has once been questioned for its strict controls on prescription drugs and discouraging the public from purchasing drugs on their own, which shows that the Taiwan government much values people’s health. As a result, no significant drug injuries have ever happened after the implementation of National Health Insurance in Taiwan. The effective operations of Taiwan’s public health system and drug regulatory system have led to this result, which should be cherished by everyone.
The industry experts and the academics could not help carrying on with the heated discussions.
(From left: Professor Tzyh-Chang Hwang, Department and Institute of Pharmacology, National Yang-Ming University; Professor Chun-Ying Wu, Institute of BioMedical Informatics, National Yang-Ming University; General Manager Today Su, Golden Biotechnology Corp.)
Chief Ueng-Cheng Yang of the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, National Yang-Ming University raised the question: how did the Singapore Government quickly reduce the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, achieve a zero mortality rate, and improve the recovery rate? Chairman Hong-Jen Chang explained that the Singapore Government implements many anti-epidemic measures with a firm hand, the most important one being the immediate activation of the “Community Health Care Prevention and Control Plan” at the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic. There have been close to 800 clinics designated as the Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) in Singapore. During the epidemic prevention period, people with respiratory diseases or fever are encouraged to go to these PHPC clinics, and the government will provide subsidized consultation and treatment. Not only can patients suspected to be infected confirm the diagnosis and undergo treatment as soon as possible to prevent the virus from spreading, but the routine medical affairs in the hospitals are also unlikely to be affected due to scattered screening. At the same time, the Singapore Government provides epidemic notifications online every day, updating the data at all times. They also set up and report detailed information on every newly confirmed case, analyze these cases’ links to other cases, and announce the locations and streets they have been to. Swarm infection is hence effectively prevented. It is worth it for other countries to learn from Singapore’s efficient and timely anti-epidemic measures.
Chairman Hong-Jen Chang shared the two books written by him with the attendees: “Infectious Diseases in Taiwan” and “Promising Future of Biotechnology.”
Chairman Hong-Jen Chang shared the two books written by him with the attendees: “Infectious Diseases in Taiwan” and “Promising Future of Biotechnology.” Major infectious diseases in modern Taiwan is documented in “Infectious Diseases in Taiwan,” published in 2018. For instance, SARS, dysentery, Dengue fever, tuberculosis, AIDS, polio, and so on. This book is a detailed documentary of the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and the history of National Health Insurance epidemic prevention in Taiwan. As for “Promising Future of Biotechnology,” published in 2019, Chairman Hong-Jen Chang’s expertise and close observations have allowed him to write his years of biotechnology venture capital experiences into this book. This book witnessed how the biotechnology industry in Taiwan fought throughout time and grew to be competitive.
In the end, Chairman Hong-Jen Chang mentioned that the U.S.-China Trade War has intensified, and a wave of Taiwanese firms have started to leave China and bring their manufacturing back to Taiwan. His intuition told him another era is about to begin. And Taiwan’s performance in epidemic prevention this round shows the world its healthcare technological superiorities. Chairman Hong-Jen Chang encouraged everybody to grasp this rare opportunity, leave behind Taiwan’s past depressing time, and reposition themselves in the world.