Shanghai is developing China’s top-level health innovation zone in a downtown historical area that will focus on research for medical products from laboratory to practical use.
The health zone or park, to be on par with the Silicon Valley in the United States, is being jointly developed by Ruijin Hospital and the Huangpu District government around the historical conservation zone on Sinan Road.
Research labs and companies on biopharmaceutical and medical apparatus, gene tests and chronic diseases will be based in the ancient villas at Sinan Mansions and near the popular shikumen commercial complex Tianzifang, the Huangpu government said on Thursday.
The national translational medicine zone, named after Guangci, the original name of Ruijin Hospital when it initially opened in 1907, will cooperate with the world’s leading medical centers and zones, such as the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, the United States, and the Jerusalem biological medicine park in Israel.
It aims to become a leading translational medicine center in Asia by 2025, Chao Kejian, director of Huangpu District, told the first Health China Sinan Summit 2019 on Thursday. Translational means relating to the conversion of something from one form or medium to another. In this case, it is turning the fruits of medical research into drugs, other products and therapies.
The new zone around the hospital aims to develop 1,000 innovative medicines and medical equipment, train 1,000 biological medicine professionals and bring together medical companies with total assets of 100 billion yuan (US$14.66 billion) by 2025, Chao said.
The first batch of research institutes and companies have already settled in the park. They include the E-Stronger, a makerspace operator, at Sinan Mansions, which features more than 50 historical villas and former residences of famous names like Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang.
The intelligent medical research institute of Jiao Tong University and the Japan-based Omron Corp have signed agreements to enter the park.
The innovation zone will mainly serve China’s first national translational medicine center within Ruijin Hospital to help in the research and development of medicines and products from the center’s laboratory to their clinical and practical use, said Wang Huai, director of the development and reform commission of Huangpu.
The district government will support the center with preferential policies and help attract investments, Wang told the three-day summit that concludes on Friday. The summit has brought together a number of China’s top medical experts, industry leaders and investors to propel the development of the city’s health industry, Wang added.
Meanwhile, the comprehensive national translational medicine center, the first of its kind in China, is scheduled to open by the end of 2019, said Dr Qu Jieming, president of Ruijin Hospital. It will mainly focus on tumors, cardiovascular and cerebravascular diseases as well as metabolic diseases.
The center will work closely with the health innovation zone, Qu said. For instance, after the center finds an effective cure for a certain disease, some contract research organizations and pharmaceutical companies will develop it for practical use for patients.