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Collaborative launch of translational R&D hub to enhance clinical diagnostic development efforts
S$38 million research facility aims to be a premier, global, one-stop hub for research and translation to clinical testing through biochemical innovation and techniques

Singapore’s first integrated translational R&D hub was established by the National University of Singapore (NUS), Agilent Technologies, and the National university Hospital (NUH). This hub leverages on biochemical innovation and research data analytics to develop new methods of translating clinical research into clinical diagnostics.

The NUS-Agilent Hub for Translation & Capture (NUS-Agilent Hub) was officially launched by Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, Director of Medical Services of the Ministry of Health, at NUS on 19 August 2019. The research hub comprises of laboratories located in NUS and NUH, which will provide 1,000 square metres of research space to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations among scientists, clinicians and industry partners to translate biochemical research into clinical applications.

NUS and Agilent hopes to develop innovative ways to enhance accuracy of clinical diagnostics based on data obtained from patients’ blood samples though research in areas such as lipidomics and synthetic biology, supported by data analytics. The initial research focus areas are cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as they account for almost 30 percent of all deaths in Singapore in 2018 and affects 440,000 Singaporean adults in 2014, respectively.

With the aim to be a global premier one-stop research centre for informing clinical testing the NUS-Agilent Hub will utilise emerging technologies and translational studies to provide greater insight and accuracy to clinical biochemistry testing. This collaboration between NUS, Agilent and NUH represents a unique and innovative approach to conducting joint research into important health issues and medical science. Adopting the “hub and satellite model” it will allow for research to be conducted centrally in Singapore, as well as tapping into key partnerships and alliances regionally and globally supported by NUS and Agilent.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “This partnership with Agilent and NUH builds on NUS’ strengths and focus in biomedical sciences and translational medicine, the state-of-art mass spectrometry technology at Agilent and clinical expertise at NUH. We are excited about this unique opportunity to further extend our longstanding collaborative relationship with Agilent and NUH into the area of clinical diagnostics, which could bring about positive societal and economic impact to Singapore.”

“The population we care for in NUH is changing rapidly. We need new diagnostics to be tested and scaled up when successful. This tripartite partnership enables NUH to apply emerging technologies from the university and industry to improve clinical laboratory testing. Validating biomedical breakthroughs from NUS and translating these to clinical care will benefit patients,” said Associate Professor Eugene Liu, CEO, NUH.

“We are delighted that Agilent is working closely with NUS and NUH to launch the NUS-Agilent Hub for Translation & Capture. This new R&D hub embodies the spirit of open innovation, whereby companies tap on the unique capabilities of Singapore hospitals and universities to co-develop new solutions for global markets. We hope to continue to nurture collaborations between the private and public institutions within the Medical Technology sector in Singapore.” said Ms Goh Wan Yee, Executive Director, Healthcare, EDB.

The NUS-Agilent Hub is a continuation of an established and significant partnership that has existed for many years between NUS and Agilent. By extending its substantial investments in R&D with Agilent’s work alongside top universities like NUS, Agilent is able to accelerate its mission of improving the human condition.

Source: Agilent Technologies

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