City rapidly grows into main regional biotech base


City rapidly grows into main regional biotech base

U.S. Nobel laureate J. Michael Bishop is formally appointed chairman of the cancer institute named after him in Chengdu. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Chengdu, one of the most dynamic cities in the country, is rapidly becoming one of western China’s most important bio-industry centers, as it continues to work with international entities in the field.

On Dec. 30 the J. Michael Bishop Institute of Cancer Research was founded in the Chengdu International Biotech Industry Town, a project jointly developed by the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone in the city’s Shuangliu district and the district government since last March. The town is designed to be an industrial park with global influence, said its developers.

The institute is named after the United States immunologist and microbiologist, who was a Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine.

The aim is for the institute to become a world – class comprehensive cancer center that discovers, develops and produces targeted anticancer drugs.

“Professor Bishop believes that science reaches beyond national borders,” said Yang Dun, director of the institute. “He has not only authorized us to name the institute after him, but also helps us a lot in sharing research achievements and resources by providing us with access to high-level academic exchange platforms.”

The cancer institute will strive to maintain and promote its world-class status for the research and development of anticancer drugs, Yang said.

He added that the institute will make full use of its resources in the U.S., Britain, Germany and China to conduct research and development. Any developments and breakthroughs it makes will be used in clinics worldwide.

The institute will also build a business incubator for local microbiological enterprises and work more closely with universities and colleges in Southwest China, Yang said.

Chen Fu, deputy director of the administrative committee of the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, said the establishment of the institute is critical for the establishment and development of the Chengdu International Biotech Industry Town, which will help to accelerate the development of its biomedicine industrial cluster, deepen international exchanges and cooperation, strengthen science and technology R&D, and attract high-level professionals.

Another institute named after K.Barry Sharpless, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, also signed an agreement to establish a presence in the biotech industry town last year.

The institute will promote the growth of the town in R&D, attracting professionals, incubating businesses and industrializing research achievements, local officials said.

To promote the development of these leading projects, the town will set up an industrial development fund of no less than 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion).

With a total planned area of 44 square kilometers (17 square miles), the town will focus on the development of biological medicine, biomedical engineering, health and other service industries.

Its goal is to gather a total of 30,000 companies in the bio-industry fields by 2035, generating 500 billion yuan in total revenue, according to plans for the town.

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