Novel to Nobel: Better research, better doctors, better health.
by Jasmine Leong
The 6th National Conference for Clinical Research (NCCR) was held in Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur from the 26th to 28th of September 2012.
This event was officiated by the Minister of Health, YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai; Deputy Director General of Health, Research and Technical Support, YBhg Dato’ Dr Maimunah Abdul Hamid; the Director of Clinical Research Centre (CRC), Dr Goh Pik Pin; and the special guest of the event, Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Charles Doherty. The NCCR 2012 focused on the need to attract, nurture and retain expertise in various scientific and clinical disciplines to meet growing demand for clinical trials from the biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and generics sector.
Currently, there are 256 industry-sponsored researches with 140 ongoing and 119 new clinical trials conducted in public, academic and private healthcare facilities. The Health Ministry hopes for larger allocation for research and development (R&D) under Budget 2013, “Research evidence plays a key role in decision making and policy formulation in healthcare, (and so) the Ministry is looking into ways to improve career pathways and performance incentives for researchers.” said the minister.
Among the local success stories quoted in the conference were the efforts of Veras Research Malaysia (VRM) for co-founding the novel alliance of Asian country-based Clinical Research Organisation (CRO). Asia CRO Alliance (ACA) is a collaboration between China, Japan, India, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia in implementing clinical trials. In June this year, Veras Research Malaysia participated in the Drug Information Association’s (DIA) 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to introduce Malaysia as a potential clinical trial site in Asia. The Phase 1 Clinical Trials unit of CRC Veeda Malaysia has successfully marked the potential of Malaysia as an international clinical trial site with studies booked for 2013 including a large scale study on Alzheimer disease commencing in September 2013 as well as future collaborations with Australia and Japan.
In the same event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Sdn Bhd (GSK) and the Government of Malaysia represented by the Ministry of Health (MoH) Malaysia through the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) . The MoU signed aims to further enhance Malaysia’s capacity in clinical research including training for healthcare professionals, enhancement of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) critical to the conduct of clinical trials and the inclusion of Malaysia in GSK Vaccines’ clinical development plans.
Clinical research in Malaysia is still at its infancy and yet promises great potential and opportunities at elevating the overall standard of medical research and healthcare. With great support, effort and direction from the government, industry and academic, translational research could be a very important field of research here in time to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jasmine Leong holds a MSc. in Pharmacology from University of Oxford, UK and BSc. (1st Hons) in Chemistry from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia. With aspiration to translate drug discoveries from bench to bedside, she has internship experiences with AstraZeneca Sdn. Bhd. and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Sdn. Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Currently, she is a product specialist in the therapeutic area of cardiology for Eli Lilly (Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Find out more about Jasmine by visiting her Scientific Malaysian profile: http://www.scientificmalaysian.com/members/jasmineleong/