On 5 February 2021, Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) hosted a visit by Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Tan See Leng. This visit was part of Dr Tan’s monthly engagement visit with A*STAR research organisations to better understand the R&D scene in Singapore and to stay apprised of significant developments in A*STAR. Dr Tan was briefed on how the research and commercialisation landscape in Singapore has evolved in the past decade, the national biotech strategy for the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 plan (RIE2025), and EDDC’s role as a national drug discovery and development platform.
Dr Tan also attended a panel discussion comprising industry representatives from local biotech, venture capital and big pharma. The panellists emphasised the importance of synergistic public-private relationships to share the risks and rewards inherent in the industry.
To that effect, EDDC was acknowledged to hold a key role in terms of bridging gaps in the drug discovery, development, and translation process. EDDC can contribute as a catalyst in the growth of the local ecosystem through multiple roles – such as positioning EDDC as a driver in the nation’s translational efforts and being a curator of talents that is critical for building up a knowledge and talent base in drug discovery and development. The session concluded with Dr Tan emphasising the importance of interaction and collaboration between public and private sectors. Cohesive public and private sector efforts – in terms of bridging gaps, developing local talents, building relationships with global talents and organisations, and drawing investments into Singapore – are important for the growth and expansion of our local biotech ecosystem, and eventual success in establishing a thriving health and biomedical industry here.