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SFH visits Phase 1 clinical trial centres (with photos)

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, today (July 24) visited the two Phase 1 clinical trial centres (CTCs) in Hong Kong to see for himself the equipment and operation of the centres, and learn more about the future development of the local clinical trial sector.

     Funded by the Government, the two CTCs were set up in 2011 in the medical faculties of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong for conducting preliminary clinical trials on new drugs. A total of $40 million was allocated to each of the two universities to support the operation of their respective Phase I CTCs in the first five years.

     Dr Ko said, "The establishment of the Phase 1 CTCs will help enhance the capability of Hong Kong in new drug development. It will be conducive to the development of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries in Hong Kong.

     "Furthermore, the CTCs' partnership with overseas academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry in clinical research helps not only to boost the competitiveness of Hong Kong in drug research and development, but also to attract more relevant overseas professionals to Hong Kong, as well as provide more training and job opportunities for local professionals.

     "I am pleased to learn that the two CTCs have been operating smoothly and progressing steadily in their drug research and trials since starting their operation in early 2014."

     Dr Ko was told that the two CTCs were pursuing the accreditation of the China Food and Drug Administration in order to become nationally recognised Phase 1 CTCs for new drug development with a view to attracting international pharmaceutical companies and overseas investment to Hong Kong.

     "I believe that with all these efforts, Hong Kong can develop itself into an internationally renowned centre of excellence for the development of new drugs in the long run," Dr Ko said.

     Clinical trial is an essential step in the development of novel medicines, bringing potential new drugs from laboratories to clinical applications. Among the various phases of clinical trial, Phase 1 clinical trial starts with initial administration of an investigational new drug which has passed the laboratory tests into human bodies. It determines the safety and the dosage range that the new drugs may be granted, facilitating subsequent trial in evaluating therapeutic efficacy and side effects of the drugs.

Ends/Friday, July 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:57


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