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A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) Partners South Korean Institutes to Advance Glycomics Research in Asia



Glycomics an emerging field with implications for understanding and treating human diseases

Singapore, Feb 12, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) today signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) and Chungnam National University's Graduate School of Analytics Science and Technology (GRAST) to advance collaboration between Singapore and South Korea in the field of glycomics in Asia. The agreements were signed by the three organisations at the first Singapore-South Korea Symposium on Glycomics (SKSG), held from 12 - 13 February 2014. The signing was witnessed by A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Singapore, H.E Suh Chung-ha. The MOUs will collectively increase the impact of both countries' glycomics capabilities and establish them as leaders in Asia in glycomics research.

Glycomics refers to the study of the structure and function of sugars (also known as glycans) in biological systems. Glycans are known to modify the functions and characteristics of proteins and are important to diseases as varied as cancer, arthritis, cholera and malaria. Glycan structure analysis is an increasingly important component in biologics design and production to determine the safety and efficacy of biopharmaceutical drugs.

The new partnerships are timely and will bring together both countries' complementary strengths in biologics research and manufacturing and increase the collective impact of their glycomics capabilities. Singapore is home to many innovative biopharma companies while South Korea has built up a strong foundation in biosimilars development and production. The Korean institutes will provide their expertise in advanced analytical technologies for biopharmaceutical characterisation and glycomics research in cancer while BTI provides the biological context and is equipped with a diverse suite of bioprocessing technologies and in-house analytical capabilities for the whole biologics value chain, from upstream research to manufacturing.

The collaborations between BTI, KBSI and GRAST will collectively advance glycomics research in Asia by encouraging joint research projects, conferences and workshops and talent exchange and development through manpower training to facilitate the exchange of knowledge.

Prof Lam Kong Peng, Executive Director of BTI said, "BTI, KBSI and GRAST are at the leading edge of glycomics research in Singapore and Korea. BTI is one of the small number of research entities worldwide with the facilities and know-how for glycoscience and dedicated to biologics R&D. These collaborations will build upon GlycoSing - a strategic programme to establish BTI as one of Asia's Centre of Excellence in glycomics R&D. They will also boost Singapore's reputation as a world-class destination for biologics manufacturing and R&D."

Dr Chung Kwang Hwa, President of KBSI stated, "These MOUs between KBSI, GRAST and BTI are not only to establish a solid foundation for collaboration of world-class research institutes, but also to strengthen the collaboration of two countries, leaders in glycomics research and manufacturing in Asia. This partnership will be a milestone for global collaborations in glycomics, in consideration of timely and complementary exchange of each institute's competitiveness, such as advanced analytical technologies and glycomics research of the Korea institutes."

Prof Hee-Sun Chung, Dean of GRAST said, "GRAST and BTI are at the cutting-edge of technology and knowledge in the field of glycomics. GRAST is one of the world's leading universities on glycan research. This collaboration will not only contribute toward the improvement of the biosimilars industry in Korea, but also help scientists discover new cures and develop new drugs and vaccines to treat and prevent diseases with the latest analytical and scientific technologies for research in glycomics."

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore's manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR's research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories. Please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.

About the Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI)

Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Established in 1990 as the Bioprocessing Technology Unit, it was renamed the Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) in 2003. The research institute's mission is to develop manpower capabilities and establish cutting-edge technologies relevant to the bioprocessing community. Some of the key research areas include expression engineering, animal cell technology, stem cell research, microbial fermentation, downstream purification and analytics. For more information about BTI, please visit http://bti.a-star.edu.sg.

About the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI)

Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) is a government sponsored institute established in 1988 with the goal of promoting basic science research. The institute has been developing analytical technology, performing research support activities and operating large-scale research facilities as a sole research support institute for basic science in Korea. KBSI also jointly established GRAST with Chungnam University to train analytical science specialists. 2HQs and 10 regional research centers of KBSI across the nation provide leading-edge analytical technologies with over 500 research equipments to researchers requiring large-scale research facilities, such as 1.3MeV HVEM (High Voltage Electron Microscope). Please visit http://www.kbsi.re.kr/english for more information.

About the Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology (GRAST)

The Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology (GRAST) is a specialized graduate school in the field of analytical science and technology. Our Graduate Program is unique from other educational system in that it includes extensive on-site practical education, which equips students with the vital skills to ensure success in their specialist field. The mission of GRAST is to strengthen student's research capabilities and foster outstanding specialists required in the field of analytical science and technology through university-institute cooperation. It aims to become the world's leading graduate school in the field of analytical science and technology. Research includes NT (nano-science technology), BT (bio-science technology), and ET (environmental science and technology). For more information about GRAST, please visit http://grast.cnu.ac.kr.

Contact:

Ms Vanessa Loh
Senior Officer
Corporate Communications Department
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Tel: +65 6826 6395
Email: [email protected]

Mr Jae-Yun Kang
Manager
Division of International & Public Relations
Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI)
Tel: +82 42 865 3930
Email: [email protected]

Assoc Prof Hyun Joo An
Director
Asia-Pacific Glycomics Reference Site
Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology
Chungnam National University
E-mail: [email protected]

Source: A*STAR

Copyright 2014 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

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