CUHK and SINOVAC join in hands in building P3 laboratory Developing the city into high ground for biomedical sciences
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong) Limited (SINOVAC) signed a new Strategic Collaboration Framework Agreement today (18 February) to jointly build a Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory (P3 laboratory) at CUHK to conduct research in the fields of infectious diseases, immunology, microbiology, and other related study areas. The agreement is an important step in the cooperation between CUHK and SINOVAC, combining their respective strengths in research and industry to foster research and development collaborations in biomedicine in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
The agreement was signed by CUHK’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky S. TUAN and Mr. Weidong YIN, Chairman, President, and CEO of SINOVAC Biotech Ltd. Under the agreement, SINOVAC will provide technology, funding, and other resources to establish the P3 laboratory, and CUHK will be responsible for academic support, and coordinating and communicating with relevant departments of the Hong Kong SAR Government. The two institutions will join hands in various research and development collaborations in biomedical science, including vaccine development and testing, regenerative immunology, infectious disease monitoring and prevention, and precision medicine.
Professor Rocky S. TUAN remarked, “I am very much looking forward to working with SINOVAC to establish the P3 laboratory and to the joint research and development collaborations in biomedical science, contributing to disease control and prevention. Under the National 14th Five-Year Plan, CUHK is striving to leverage our strengths and foster strategic partnerships to support the development of the city into a high ground for innovative biomedical research globally.”
Mr. Weidong YIN said, “CUHK is not only a comprehensive research university, but also a world leading institution in study fields of stem cell research and gene therapy. The P3 laboratory that we plan to jointly establish will enable us to quickly make judgments on the epidemic situation of infectious diseases in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, improve monitoring, and the implementation of vaccination strategies, to facilitate further research on emerging infectious diseases.”
CUHK has in recent years made numerous advances in the biological and medical fields, including molecular targeted therapy for lung cancer patients; an innovative strategy and technology for the prevention and treatment of stroke that was awarded the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (second-class); and research about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its related hepatocellular carcinoma that was awarded the State Natural Science Award (second-class). Research teams from CUHK have been dedicated in releasing COVID-19-related research during the pandemic, including a study by the Faculty of Medicine showing that a distinct microbial gut profile is related to long COVID; and an AI system for automatic detection of COVID-19 infections in chest computed tomography (CT) images jointly developed by the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Engineering. Four research projects were also funded under the second round of the Research Grants Council’s One-off Coronavirus and Novel Infectious Diseases Research Exercise that endeavour to combat COVID-19 by deploying engineering and medicine.
CoronaVac®, innovated and manufactured by SINOVAC, has been authorised as one of the official vaccines by the Hong Kong SAR Government since February 2021 under the territory-wide COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. On 13 February 2022, the Government announced that the minimum age for receiving the SINOVAC vaccine will be lowered to three years old from 15 February. SINOVAC vaccine is playing a vital part in helping Hong Kong citizens by strengthening self-protection.