Powering healthcare technologies with Artificial Intelligence

by Dhakshenya Dhinagaran Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to computer systems which are capable of performing tasks that would usually require human intelligence. Machine learning and deep learning functions allow such programs to sense, reason, act and adapt like humans. Machine learning, as the name implies, refers to algorithms whose performance improve as they are exposed to more data over time. Thus, like humans who mature with each new experience, these programs “learn” with every interaction they have with the user, without being specifically programmed every step of the way. Like the brain, deep learning draws on the concept of neural networks which connect with each other in several layers. Information is extracted from each layer, to home in on a conclusion. For example, when identifying cell types, the first layer may analyse the cell membrane, the next layer, a cell specific organelle, and successive layers would continue to uncover cell specific characteristics

Regulation and Patentability of Cannabis and Cannabis-related Compounds in Malaysia

by Soon Kheng Lim and Dan Yi Wong This is the third article of a three-part series on regulation and patentability of cannabis and cannabis-related compounds in three ASEAN countries, namely Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia by Yusarn Audrey which has operations in these countries. Read the first and second article here and here. As mentioned in the first article of the three-part series, cannabis has become a hot topic since Canada announced the legalization of cannabis last year. The world is watching who would be the next to follow the trend. This article seeks to explore the regulation and patentability of cannabis as well as cannabis-related compounds in Malaysia with the aim of educating academics, entrepreneurs and industry professionals. The Malaysia Perspective Issue 1: Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-related Products The case of Muhammad Lukman has significantly drawn the attention of the public as to whether medicinal marijuana should be legal in Malaysia.

Regulation and Patentability of Cannabis and Cannabis-related Compounds in Thailand

by Kamonphan Minjoy, Chanida Chantarakunpongsa and Saowanee Leewijitsin This is the second article of a three-part series on regulation and patentability of cannabis and cannabis-related compounds in three ASEAN countries, namely Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia by Yusarn Audrey which has operations in these countries. Read the first article here. As mentioned in the first article of the three-part series, cannabis has become a hot topic since Canada announced the legalization of cannabis last year. The world is watching who would be the next to follow this trend. This article seeks to explore the regulation and patentability of cannabis and cannabis-related compounds in Thailand with the aim of educating academics, entrepreneurs and industry professionals. A Bittersweet View of Cannabis - The Thailand Perspective Issue 1: Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-related Products On 25 December 2018, Thailand legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes

Regulation and Patentability of Cannabis and Cannabis-related Compounds in Singapore

by Yvette Flanigan and Wendy Leong This is the first article of a three-part series on regulation and patentability of cannabis and cannabis-related compounds in three ASEAN countries, namely Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia by Yusarn Audrey which has operations in these countries. Cannabis, also known as marijuana, pot, grass, joints, ganja, hashish or weed, is a plant indigenous to and originating from Central Asia. The active compounds in cannabis are cannabinoids. Cannabis contains more than a hundred cannabinoids, including THC and cannabidiol (CBD). It had once been used freely worldwide to treat pain and other ailments. Although there is published research, derived from clinical trials, on the potential uses of cannabinoids to manage seizures and epilepsy 2, THC can adversely affect one’s mood – causing euphoria, anxiety, disorientation or paranoia. Cannabis can also adversely affect concentration and memory and long term use can result in psychosis. After an international

Should I be a bio-entrepreneur? Some considerations

by Jia Jun Tan Amidst the clicking of pipettes and spinning of centrifuges, 4 years have passed. After spending the better part of it on my PhD project, I came to a sobering realization that I had no idea what I wanted to do after obtaining the doctorate degree. What was the next step? Should I continue the pursuit of knowledge? My fellow travellers on this arduous journey offered several suggestions. “Be a postdoctoral research fellow and continue advancing the frontiers of knowledge,” one replied. Incidentally, she was the only one among us who genuinely enjoyed being in the laboratory. “Join the dark side, otherwise known as industry,’ another suggested.” He had dreams of earning enough so that he could retire by forty. “How about starting your own company?” The most entrepreneurial one among us quipped. He also happened to spend the least time in the laboratory. While I wasn’t sure if my friend’s entrepreneurial castles in the air were firmly constructed

The Art of Effective Networking – For Scientists

by Chengxun Su For most scientists who are drawn to the pursuit of scientific questions, networking may not come naturally. If spending years in the laboratory with only machines and fellow socially awkward humans for company has left you with non-existent social skills, you may find networking a daunting task. “Why network?” you may ask. While a solitary existence performing experiments in the laboratory and publishing in scientific journals may be your idea of the good life, a successful career in science requires you to socialize; both with scientists and non-scientists. Unlike graduate school, where the selection criteria for the best and brightest are clear, a successful career path is rarely as straightforward. Career paths nowadays resemble a web rather than a ladder. Instead of climbing a straight ladder step by step, having the vision to connect with different people, seeking new opportunities and embracing them is oftentimes more crucial in advancing one’s career.

The importance of patents to biotech start-ups

This is the second article of a two-part series on intellectual property for biotech start-ups. Read the first article here. Why do patents matter to biotech start-ups? Early-stage biotech companies are often founded based on the exciting results of pre-clinical research relating to a new product or treatment. However, due to the need for refinement/development, as well as the extensive work required to demonstrate safety and efficacy in order to obtain regulatory approval, early-stage biotech companies are often a long way away from bringing a new drug or therapy to market. Unlike in many industries where a new company will have a product/service that can be readily commercialised to generate revenue, early stage biotech companies often find that they have a concept for a new product/treatment that could ultimately generate billions of dollars in sales annually, but have no obvious way to commercialise or finance the technology in the short-term. This problem…

Case Competition Finals and APAC Healthcare Industry Panel Discussion

The Singapore Life Science Case Competition (SLSCC) ended on a high note with pitches from the top 4 finalists, a keynote speech on “Living Well, Dying Well: Prevention and Cure in the Healthcare Industry” and an exciting panel discussion on the current and future state of the healthcare industry in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Biotech Connection Singapore (BCS) and our co-organizers (L.E.K. Consulting and ESSEC Business School, Asia-Pacific) were heartened to see a great turnout of over 100 attendees at the Grand Amphitheatre of ESSEC Business School.

Translational Immunology

The era of cancer immunotherapy has come, offering a beacon of hope in our long, ongoing fight against this serious disease. Increased knowledge of the human immune system has been translated into exciting clinical solutions not only in cancer, but other disease areas as well. The objective of this interactive session on Translational Immunology is to provide a comprehensive overview of the immunotherapy landscape and to highlight successful immune modulation approaches in various diseases areas cancer, as well as in autoimmunity and infectious diseases.