The APEC Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) has announced the launch of a new regional forum to capitalize on the region?s growing intellectual capabilities and opportunities presented by the life sciences sector.
The APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum is intended to both strengthen health services in the region by intensifying efforts to promote research into new cures for diseases, and to promote stronger economic growth.
The forum is the result of a decision by APEC Leaders at the conclusion of their meeting in 2002 to place regional emphasis on innovation in life science research and development:
"We called for the establishment of a life-sciences innovation forum comprising government, private sector, and academia representatives to develop a strategic plan for life-sciences innovation in the region. This should include, as a priority, addressing the challenges of risk detection and prevention, treatment and cure of the communicable and lifestyle diseases which afflict our people"
(APEC Leaders' Statement, Los Cabos, Mexico, 2002).
Chair of the CTI, Ms. Ng Kim Neo, said scientific advances are the key to solving many of the public health challenges facing the region.
"Aging populations, increased life expectancies and the rise of new illnesses are some of the many challenges our economies face today", said Ms. Ng.
"By being proactive, the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum hopes to create an environment that fosters innovation and delivers real health benefits to the people of the region.
"Innovative medical research requires the best scientists, significant financial resource allocation, a positive business environment, and a sound, science-based regulatory framework to attract investment."
"The APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum will bring together scientific minds at the forefront of medical research, policy makers from APEC member economies and representatives of the private investment sector in an effort to establish a strategic plan for life sciences in the region."
The first forum will feature discussions on research, development, marketing and manufacturing and patient use, which are seen as the four segments of the life-sciences product development cycle.
The forum will be attended by internationally renowned speakers and round tables on a number of topics will take place including:
  • The role of regulation and the regulator in supporting innovation in life sciences
  • Public-private partnerships -- the future of innovation
  • How aging societies are changing approaches to the provision of health services
  • The frontiers of lifesciences research -- from molecules to genes
  • Assuring quality products -- what regulation can do to help
  • Real or fake? counterfeit drugs -- when lives depend on the answer
  • Sophisticated products need sophisticated patients -- empowering the patient
  • Global principles for modernizing health services systems
The Life Sciences Innovation Forum will meet in Phuket, Thailand, on 14-15 August and is expected to attract around 300 delegates.