Hyphens inks MOU with A*STAR’s A*ccelerate
Published on 22 March 2019 | By Tara Anne Sreenivasan | Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
The five-year commercialisation deal covers development of products targeting eczema, acne, pigmentary disorders.
SGX Catalist-listed Hyphens Pharma International Limited signed a Memorendum of Understanding (MOU) with A*Star’s commercial arm A*ccelerate, previously known as Exploit Technologies, at the opening ceremony of its corporate headquarters and integrated facility in Singapore on Wednesday.
Our new corporate headquarters and integrated facility will not only provide enhanced efficiency and productivity, it will also serve as an oasis for our people to germinate creative and innovative ideas.
Lim See Wah, Hyphen Pharma’s chairman and CEO
Signed by Mr Lim and A*ccelerate CEO Philip Lim, the MOU is a five-year commercialisation agreement which will build on prior partnership and further enhance the relationship between both organisations. Since 2014, Hyphens has worked closely with A*STAR in various research and development (R&D) activities ranging from products formulation to technology transfer and licensing. Hyphens has since embarked on around 13 research collaborations with A*STAR aimed at improving skin health, in areas such as encapsulation and sebum control to name a few.
This speed is evident, he said, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong helming the nation’s research and development (R&D) plans. But a big challenge is the immediate need for talent. Professor Ben-Israel said that while Singapore already has plans to train its people, there is a need to plug the current gap.
The MOU will build on findings of past research collaborations to develop products targeting eczema, acne and pigmentary disorders, with the aim to have its first product launched within two years of the signing.
A*ccelerate’s team had multiple brainstorming sessions with Hyphens’ team to crystallise their critical business needs, and how A*ccelerate and A*STAR could contribute to their goals.
The result is a partnership that includes engagement from both teams from exploration of product ideas, to refining of prototypes, to scientific and clinical development and finally user validation.
A*ccelerate CEO Philip Lim
Also present at the ceremony was Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, who delivered a speech that highlighted the importance of public and private sector collaboration for R&D. “Hyphens Pharma’s commitment to innovation and moving up the value chain serves as an excellent example for other local companies,” Dr Koh said in his speech.
To enable greater productivity and synergy, Hyphens new corporate headquarters combines its four prior floors of operations across two separate buildings into a single location, the entire fourth floor of a building at 16 Tai Seng Street.
Launched with the support of Enterprise Singapore’s Automation Support Package, the integrated facility includes an automated packaging facility and warehousing space, designed in collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic’s Food Innovation and Resource Centre and Republic Polytechnic’s Centre of Innovation for Supply Chain Management, respectively. It accommodates 148 employees and spans over 40,000 square feet.
Hyphens Pharma International has over 450 employees in five key Asean countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philipines and Vietnam – and distributors in six other markets: Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Oman.
Comprising three main business entities – Hyphens Pharma, Pan-Malayan Pharmaceuticals and Ocean Health – its core business is in three segments: Specialty Pharma Principles, Proprietary Brands and Medical Hypermart and Digital.