Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) signs two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two prominent Singapore organisations to advance clinical research. This will pave the way for better Malaysia–Singapore collaborations in bringing forward drug development and research capabilities between both countries.
“Since 2016, we embarked on completing the ecosystem for the Early Phase drug development work with CRM leading the way. It is a very proud moment that these two prominent organisations agrees to work with CRM and Institute of Medical Research (IMR) of the Ministry of Health on various projects in drug development including training of our doctors to be able to conduct early phase clinical trials,” says the Minister of Health and Chairman of CRM, YB Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The MoU with the National University Hospital (Singapore) Pte Ltd (NUH) spells out support in the areas of clinical trial promotion, business development, networking opportunities, clinical trial operations, training as well as in feasibility assessments.
Through this partnership CRM will work closely with NUH and potentially the rest of the entities under the National University Health System (NUHS) in training our clinicians with the knowledge and expertise in conducting early phase clinical trials.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be in oncology clinical trials and masterclasses conducted by the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS), which is part of the NUHS.
Commenting on the MoU, Group Director of the NUHS Research Office and Director of NCIS, Prof. Chng Wee Joo added “Being involved in regional trial network is an important strategy for NCIS. Going beyond Singapore and establishing networks with our neighbours will put us in good stead in attracting more collaboration with the industry so that collectively we can make greater impact in clinical trials. Another important aspect of our academic strategy is to provide training in our areas of strength to the doctors in the regions. The current collaboration with CRM will fulfil both of these important objectives. We eagerly look forward to seeing the fruits of these collaborations in the next 1-2 years.”
CytoMed Therapeutics is a spinoff company from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and has been developing treatments to treat a wide range of cancers using the patient’s or donor’s immune cells.
CytoMed Therapeutics will be partnering with the IMR, which is being represented in this MOU by CRM to conduct an immunotherapeutic preclinical study initially. As the project progresses further, this will open up possibilities for future studies that go beyond the preclinical stage into translational studies and clinical trials.
Commenting on the MoU, Director of CytoMed Therapeutics, Mr Choo Chee Kong, “This collaboration between CytoMed Therapeutics and CRM and IMR will open doors for more cell therapy trials and treatment to come into Malaysia. Collaborating with IMR and CRM, we are looking forward to a first-in-human clinical trial for CAR- gamma delta-T cells in the world.”
The signing of the MoU by the CEO of CRM, Dr. Akhmal Yusof, Group Director of the NUHS Research Office, Prof. Chng Wee Joo and Director of CytoMed Therapeutics Pte Ltd, Mr Choo Chee Kong was witnessed by Minister of Health, YB Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, Secretary General of Health, YBhg. Dato’ Seri Dr. Chen Chaw Min, Director General of Health, YBhg. Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah as well as Director of Institute of Medical Research, Dato Dr Fadzilah Kamaludin.
CRM has added Singapore to the network of global research partnership that it currently has working collaborations with, such as Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, United States, Switzerland and Canada to attract more sponsored research into the country.