GLORIA
  • 2020 Jul 22
  • Taiwan showcases advanced technological achievements in nanomedicine devicesAI smart detection in the upcoming Bio Asia-Taiwan

Bio Asia-Taiwan Exhibition will be held starting July 23 and feature Taiwan's achievements in pandemic control, biotechnology, and medical care.

  The scale of the global biomedicine market has continued to grow. According to the statistics from the Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry, the global output value has reached US$2 trillion (NT$59 trillion). In the first half of 2020, the output of Taiwan's biotechnology industry has reached NT$600 billion, exceeding NT$500 billion of the previous year. Compared with the global output, there is still room for growth.

  To this end, the Global Research & Industry Alliance, led by the Ministry of Science and Technology, plays the role of a platform for businesses and academia both at home and abroad, and has for years actively guided academia to invest in innovation and R&D and encouraged schools to form alliances with well-known domestic and foreign firms, hoping to bring resources and needs of the industry into academia and reinforce Taiwan's biotechnology environment. In 2020, the Alliance will showcase its results of research and development in the Bio Asia-Taiwan Exhibition. 14 schools in the alliance will present their projects in 82 booths. Regain Biosurgery, a company that uses nanomedicine materials to improve the side effects of traditional hemostatic agents, and AHEAD Medicine, which develops AI blood testing tools, will both participate in the exhibition, showing the world Taiwan's innovation in the biotechnology field.
 

Regain Biosurgery solves the after-effects of traditional hemostatic agents by using nanomedicine materials to reduce patients' adverse reactions.


Regain Biosurgery, led by Professor Po-Hao Huang of National Taiwan University, has developed a new mixed hemostatic technology platform to help solve the problems with traditional hemostatic agents.

  Hemostasis is a common procedure in surgical operations. The mature development of medical technology and the availability of surgical operations have quickly driven up the demand for hemostatic medical materials. In 2019, the global market has exceeded US$1 billion. Research institutes are estimating that the profits will continue to grow in the next 7 years.


  Traditional hemostatic agents can be a double-edged sword as they stop bleeding, but are also accompanied by adverse side effects which cause wound inflammation. Dr. Po-Hao Huang, a clinical assistant professor at National Taiwan University, pointed out that when a wound becomes inflamed, the human body may develop reactions such as those affecting wound healing and forming granulomas. If the wound is in the brain, the brain pressure may increase, which in turn leads to memory, vision and language ability impairment, insensitive hands and feet, and others. In the history of medicine, there have been cases of long-term nerve paralysis from inflammation caused by hemostatic agents.

  Regain Biosurgery, led by Professor Po-Hao Huang of National Taiwan University, has developed a new mixed hemostatic technology platform after years of hard work to help solve the problems with traditional hemostatic agents. The platform focuses on the use of polyurethane nanoparticles to adjust doses according to surgeons' needs and purposes, providing products to be used in surgical hemostasis, adhesion prevention, diabetes, burns, and scald dressings or nerve repair.


The new mixed hemostatic technology platform is based on the use of polyurethane nanoparticles, and the first-generation product, GelaStop, is a hemostatic agent with additional functions.
 

AHEAD Medicine innovates the application of artificial intelligence to grasp the timing of leukemia treatment through blood testing.


The team of AHEAD Medicine is formed by members from the Department of Hematology and Oncology of National Taiwan University Hospital, the bone marrow transplant team, and the Department of Electrical Engineering of National Tsing Hua University, who are respectively responsible for blood testing and AI algorithms. They hope to use AI to replace manpower in interpreting blood analysis results, shortening patients' waiting time.

  Since the technology of artificial intelligence has become more mature, the industry has been exploring the possibility of using AI in the medical field. The most common application is using AI to interpret medical images, which will generate results to be used as a reference for doctors to make decisions. AHEAD Medicine, a startup formed by members of National Taiwan University Hospital and the Department of Electrical Engineering of National Tsing Hua University, uses AI in the interpretation of the results of flow cytometry analysis, hoping to incorporate the strength of AI to help doctors and patients earn more time for treatment.

  Dr. Ming Yao, an attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology of NTUH and one of the members of the company's R&D team, pointed out that in the past, doctors often had to take into account the analysis results from flow cytometry to determine whether there were still cancer cells in the blood or bone marrow before establishing the next treatment plan. 

  However, it is not an easy task to interpret the analysis report of a flow cytometer.  It requires professional training and experience and even more time in constructing analysis reports. The interpretation of a case usually takes at least 20 to 30 minutes.  With limited availability of manpower, patients often have to wait for one to two weeks to receive their reports. It is hoped that the use of AI can help the screening of preliminary analysis, reduce the burden of manual interpretation, and shorten patients' waiting time.

  AHEAD Medicine co-founder and CEO Dr. Yu-Fen Wang said that as NTU has Taiwan's largest stem cell treatment center and leukemia clinical database and accumulated more than 10 years of clinical test data, the company collaborates with NTUH in the development of the AI algorithms. A large amount of clinical data has been used to train the accuracy of interpretation. The company's AI blood testing system is now highly accurate and fast, and it takes only 7 seconds to read a sample on average. In other words, the system can generate reports in the afternoon from patients' samples that are submitted into the laboratory, and doctors will be able to formulate corresponding treatment decisions based on the report results in the evening, improving the efficiency of leukemia treatment.

AHEAD flow cytometer analysis platform needs only 7 seconds on average to analyze a sample, and it can provide comparisons of samples and the database to confirm the diagnosis, reducing the interpretation errors from different readers.

  Dr. Bor-Sheng Ko from the Department of Internal Medicine of NTUH, another member of the R&D team, said that the AHEAD-flow analysis platform system will not be used only at NTUH. They will collaborate with other medical centers in Taiwan and the US to obtain more data to improve the accuracy of the algorithms. AHEAD Medicine has planned to apply for FDA approval and hopes that its participation in the 2020 Bio Asia-Taiwan will bring in more funds and collaborating partners, such as pharmaceutical companies and clinical testing companies, to jointly develop more application models.

  In addition, to Regain Biosurgery and AHEAD Medicine, the exhibition features many other teams presenting their research and development results. Visitors will be able to witness the innovation of Taiwan's biotechnology by attending the exhibition at the Nangang Exhibition Center which starts from July 23 (Friday).
 
To learn more about the exhibition, please visit the event website of the 2020 Bio Asia-Taiwan and register for a visit:
https://www.chanchao.com.tw/entryApply.asp?id=DBIO2020

(The information in this article is provided by the Global Research & Industry Alliance of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the content and title have been revised and published by TechOrange. Press releases and product information can be sent to pr@fusionmedium.com. They will be reviewed and assessed for their appropriateness by desk editors before being published. The article can be reproduced by partners.)
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