Partnership to tackle skin health issues

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.

Partnership to tackle skin health issues

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.

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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

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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.

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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.