QIAGEN (Suzhou)’s research in translational medicine
QIAGEN (Suzhou) Translation Medicine Co., Ltd (QIAGEN (Suzhou)) has completed A round of financing capital with RMB175 million, attracting the attention of many people. Dr. Nick Zhang, the chairman and CEO of the company gave a detailed introduction of company’s business model and operation in a recent interview.
According to its definition, translational medicine refers to a state of transformation from bench to bedside, instead of a single subject or technique.
The translational medicine has a rich connotation. It translates the result made in the laboratory research into the product and technology in the clinical application through various methods, such as modern molecular biotechnology. At the same time, it makes the laboratory testing have a better understanding on human body and illness by analyzing the clinical result and then optimizes the testing to promote the further research. Eventually, the overall medical care is improved and patients are free from the illness. In short, many contents, such as new medicine R &D, medical device, medical APP and molecular diagnostics, belong to the translational medicine.
Jiangsu Creative and Innovative Talent
Nick Zhang, with two decades of experience in pharmaceutical research and development, believed “the prospect of the translational medicine is bright. As an important link in the new drug R & D, the translational medicine will play a more significant role under the larger framework of precision medicine.”
In China, although drug research and development began later than other countries, but the research for translational medicine is almost synchronous with other countries. As QIAGEN (Suzhou) realized translational medicine had a direct bearing on global races, it under the lead of Dr. Nick Zhang formed a professional team to provide integrated services including biomarkers R&D, clinical diagnostic testing and commercial application for the precision medicine.
“The translational medicine covers a wide range, but QIAGEN (Suzhou) majors in the diagnostic solution of the precision medicine. In the framework of the precision physical therapy, our company provides integrated solutions concerning diagnosis for our clients in the process of drug preclinical research, clinical testing and commercialization. Specifically, the biomarkers R & D, products R & D and the clinical application are in line with the drug R & D and drug declaration process. The new drugs’ early R & D and clinical trials require the intervention of biomarkers, and when new drugs come into market, companion diagnostic is needed to pick up the appropriate patients. Therefore, in terms of the business model, our company mainly engages in biomarkers research and development, clinical testing and application. In terms of platform, the characteristic of QIAGEN (Suzhou) is that the technical platforms concerning biomarker are integrated together to serve the translational medicine. Our company takes the world in the biological preparation technology and molecular diagnostic technology, as well as ranks the fifth in the the second-generation sequencing technology. We have established a very complete technology platform, including fluorescence quantitative PCR, pyrophosphate sequencing, second-generation sequencing, electrochemical luminescence enzyme-linked immune detection MSD as well as pathology, aimed at providing fully support for the development of the biomarkers. Based on the properties of different biomarkers, QIAGEN (Suzhou) has connected all the platforms together.
“In terms of the source of clients, because our management team is composed of talents with rich experience in pharmacy and diagnosis, so our clients mainly provide drugs and companion diagnostic solutions for pharmaceutical firms. Our company, together with AstraZeneca, CST and Roche, established China Association of Companion Diagnostic Industry, for the purpose of providing suggestions for establishing the unified industrial standard, and collecting more feedbacks for CFDA.
So QIAGEN (Suzhou) is a very unique company that operates in such a platform business model. Our target is to provide a complete solution instead of detection and diagnosis. Our company is always hand in hand with other pharmaceutical firms to go ahead.
Since its inception, QIAGEN (Suzhou) has successfully completed many collaborative projects with other companies. For example, QIAGEN (Suzhou), in collaboration with the Bill Gates Foundation, established the first project, namely tuberculosis project. Given tuberculosis as a global problem is expanding, and its mortality rate is rising, QIAGEN (Suzhou) together with Bill Gates Foundation researched how to rapidly detect the tuberculosis of the people in the remote areas. Later, it established cooperation projects with international companies, such as like Sanofi and AstraZeneca, as well as domestic large companies, such as Simcere and HEC
At the same time, QIAGEN (Suzhou), located in Suzhou BioBay, also established collaborative relationships through various ways with many companies, such as Beigene and Zai Lab. Dr. Dick Zhang pointed out that, “Suzhou BioBay with a high service consciousness has good environment in biomedicine industry, providing all-round services for the enterprises. The enterprises here make cooperation with each other, and have formed a complete industrial chain to carry out new drug research and development, in vitro diagnostic and medical devices. Therefore, QIAGEN (Suzhou) chose to be located in Suzhou BioBay.”
When it came to this financing, Dr. Nick Zhang said: “at the end of 2015, the company decided to adjust equity, and then only in less than one month, there were seven investors said they were willing to make investment to our company. Eventually we chose to Simcere as our strategic investor and Shanghai Anjie Medical Device Co., Ltd as our financial investor, so we completed the equity transfer in the beginning of 2016. However, at the end of the year, our company decided to increase the financing capitals, and then only in less than one month, a number of investment institutions showed their investment intentions. Finally, the company completed the A round of financing capital jointly invested by Qiming, Quanchuang, BoyueZhiyuan and Shanghai Anjie Medical Device Co., Ltd, (original shareholders). The financing capital will be used in the construction of GMP plant, the production and registration of molecular diagnostic products, the improvement of team size and team R & D capability / platform, and the establishment and expansion of products and sales channels.
Upon completion of this round of financing capital, QIAGEN (Suzhou), on the one hand, will make a deep cooperation between translational medicine and pharmaceutical companies to help pharmaceutical companies accelerate the development of drugs and improve the success rate of drug clinical testing; on the other hand, it will actively promote product approval and transformation, and establish production department and sales department so as to expand the platform and products commercial.
In addition, when it came to present situation of domestic translational medicine, he mentioned that “the market of translational medicine is very larger. The races in the world are different, but China still can learn from the achievements the foreign countries have notched up in translational medicine. At the same time, each market has its own characteristics, so we must be based on our Chinese people’s characteristics. What’s more, we should realize that there are differences not only in global races, but also in the same race. Only we combine precision medicine with China's national conditions, Chinese witnesses the most suitable and cutting-edge translational medicine research.”