ISCT Asia Regional Early Stage Professionals (ESP) Subcommittee
Expanding the collaboration network to promote our clinical translation and successful services of cell and gene therapies
Sudipto Bari, PhD1, Chaiyong Koaykul, PhD2
Co-chairs ISCT Asia regional ESP Subcommittee
1Head, Strategic Development and Communications, ACTRIS
Head, Translational Services and Regulatory Management, ACTRIS
Senior Research Fellow, National Cancer Centre Singapore
Instructor, Duke-NUS Medical School
2Lecturer, General Manager of EC-ATMPs
Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University
King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society
Asia is the largest continental economy in the world by both Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and purchasing power parity (PPP). However, access to good, affordable and advanced healthcare options continues to be a challenge. Cell and gene therapies (CGT) are the latest revolution in clinical care of non-curable diseases enabled through state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Given safety and efficacy data, in recent years, regulatory authorities across the globe have approved more than 60 CGT assets with an estimated 100 more products being considered for expedited approval. In Asia there a large proportion of clinical trials taking place uniquely made possible by the de-centralized manufacturing platforms for CGT. Nonetheless, in our region there are significant challenges to translate CGT discoveries from bench to bedside primarily due to fragmented regulatory framework; constrained healthcare infrastructure, expertise; and the high cost associated with such advanced therapies.
In ISCT Asia Regional Early-Stage Professionals (ESP) Subcommittee we have members from several countries such as Singapore, Thailand, India, Japan, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea. The Subcommittee will serve the wider ISCT community and follow the key objectives of ISCT: fostering the clinical translation of CGT worldwide to ultimately improve patient lives. We work closely with the Asia Regional Executive Committee and the global ESP Committee with the main mission to support and implement various initiatives to promote CGT usage and commercialisation. As ESP (within 10 years of terminal degree or entry into the CGT field), our goals is to support the expansion of ISCT community and enhance engagement in each region/country specially by fostering interaction between new ESP members, regional leadership, and the headquarters of ISCT. We strongly believe that based on the collaboration between scientific, industrial, clinical and regulatory players within and beyond Asia, we will be able to translate innovate CGTs into clinical trials, services and product approvals that would enable patients’ access and cure diseases.
In addition to this article, we also present our Co-chairs of ISCT Asia Regional ESP Subcommittee, sharing to you who we are and what we expect to achieve in the near future:
Sudipto Bari, PhD
Co-chair of ISCT Asia regional ESP Subcommittee
Head, Strategic Development and Communications, ACTRIS
Instructor, Duke-NUS Medical School
Dr Sudipto is the Head of Strategic Development & Communications at Advanced Cell Therapy & Research Institute Singapore (ACTRIS); Senior Research Fellow at National Cancer Centre of Singapore and Scientific & Strategic Manager at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre.
Dr Bari graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Bioengineering. He also pursued Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies in NUS. Dr Bari research interests are in the areas of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells along with process innovations that would enable cost-, time- and resource-efficient manufacturing of cellular therapies.
As part of the executive team of ACTRIS, Dr Bari has contributed in developing the national program and centralised manufacturing facility for cellular therapies. Dr Bari was also involved in the formation of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre and the Regenerative Medicine Institute of Singapore both of which are virtual institutes of SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre focusing on clinical care and translational research respectively.
“Cell and gene therapies are a beacon of hope for patients with incurable diseases. Through the ISCT platform, we aim to promote the work done in Asia to maximize its outreach to worldwide clinical and commercial entities.” – Sudipto Bari, Co-chair of ISCT Asia regional ESP Subcommittee.
Chaiyong Koaykul, PhD
Lecturer, General Manager of EC-ATMPs
Chaiyong, is a Lecturer at Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University and he is also General Manager of Excellence Center for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (EC-ATMPs) located at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society, Thailand. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Biological Engineering from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Thailand. Then, he completed another Master’s degree and obtained his PhD in Biotechnology from Osaka University, Japan. Afterward, he had continued as a postdoctoral researcher with his graduate advisor, Prof. Masahiro Kino-oka, at BioProcess System Engineering laboratory, Osaka University together with the collaboration from Japanese regenerative medicine companies. After that he decided to come back to Thailand in order to develop his country and also the region about cell & gene therapy. Currently, he works with passion to initiate and manage the EC-ATMPs, which is a national center for clinical translation by GMP manufacturing for developing advanced medical products. Moreover, he also enjoys to educate and train young generations as well as industrial staffs about development and GMP manufacturing of cell and gene products.
“Route for development of cell and gene products to advanced medical services has many challenges. All of scientific, regulatory, ethics, and commercialization should be integrated to implement for the success. Therefore, ISCT is a great global society for supporting all of us especially in clinical translation of cell and gene therapies. This ISCT Asia Regional ESP subcommittee, we would like to connect and expansion the network to have a great interaction and collaboration in order to improve our life quality by cell and gene therapies together.” – Chaiyong Koaykul, Co-chair of ISCT Asia regional ESP Subcommittee.
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