The Department of Biology at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has signed a collaboration agreement with Golden Meditech Holdings Limited (Golden Meditech). Under the terms of the agreement, the two partners will jointly conduct in-depth research in the area of cell therapy and will focus in particular on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases using stem cell harvest technology developed at HKBU.
As part of the collaboration, Golden Meditech will contribute a sum of HK$15 million to HKBU in support of a contract research related to cell culture technology and cell therapies that can potentially treat neurodegenerative and other incurable diseases. This five-year in-depth research project will be conducted by a research team led by Professor Ken Yung Kin-lam from the Department of Biology at HKBU.
It is expected that the collaboration between HKBU and Golden Meditech will develop a new therapeutic approach to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The results are expected to benefit patients not only in the Greater China Region but also the world.
Neurodegenerative diseases are mainly caused by the death or degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. According to statistics published in 2015, over 100 million people worldwide suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. As populations around the world continue to age, it is predicted that more than 20% of the global population (around 2 billion people) will be aged 60 or above by 2050. As a result, the number of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases will increase drastically and pose a threat to public health. At present, the drugs available to treat neurodegenerative diseases are not very effective and have many harmful side effects. Therefore, cell therapy is regarded as the most promising cure for such diseases.
The Department of Biology is committed to conducting cell therapy research for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. A series of internationally influential research has been published and in some cases successfully commercialised.
Golden Meditech is an integrated healthcare enterprise in mainland China. It has established dominant positions in the medical devices and hospital market in the healthcare industry.