Taiwan's National Development Fund plans to help finance a new biotechnology company that will research and develop antiretroviral drugs, Ho Mei-yueh, chair of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, said Sunday, the Taipei Times reports. According to Ho, the company will be owned jointly by the government and private investors (Taipei Times, 9/14).
According to Ho, NDF will pay $50 million for the establishment of the company, called TaiMed Biologics, and plans to hold 40% of the company's shares. Ho added that the company already has gained patent authorization from Genentech for its experimental antiretroviral TNX-355. According to Ho, the company reported positive results in a Phase II clinical trail of TNX-355 (China Post, 9/15). An additional Phase II trial is scheduled to be conducted in the fourth quarter of this year in the U.S., Europe and South America.
According to the Times, the company will be led by former Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen and David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. The government has authorized Tsai to chair the company, and David Ho will serve as its co-founder. Wong Chi-huey, president of Academia Sinica, and Chen Lan-bo, founder of Synta Pharmaceuticals, will sit on the company's board of directors, the Times reports (Taipei Times, 9/14). Wong said that new HIV/AIDS drugs developed by the company likely will be available within three years (China Post, 9/14).
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