We still have challenges to face and overcome
MegaPro Biomedical is one of the spin-off companies ITRI founded last year. CEO, Jassy Wang, said that although MegaPro Biomedical has the technology and the talents, it still faced many problems when raising capital. She took about a year to raise the required capital and believe that as compared to staying in ITRI, MegaPro Biomedical still has many stages and challenges to overcome in the future.
Technology and talents are useless without funds
Jassy Wang is an outstanding female director who has worked in ITRI for 25 years and was the vice director for the Material and Chemical Research Laboratories before she resigned. She has led the nano biomedical development project for 10 years and developed various technologies and drugs such as iron oxide nanoparticle and contrast agent. These technologies were then transferred to Center Laboratories. However, due to operational adjustments, Center Laboratories terminated the development plan for these technologies. Jassy Wang and her members decided to source for funding to establish a company and push these technologies onto the market.
Jassy Wang said that despite having competent technology and talent, she faced many challenges in sourcing for funds. On top of the investment from the Industrial Technology Investment Corporation, she required external funding. There were instances where the middles management, which assessed the investment plan, deemed the plan feasible or wish to invest more capital but the senior executives decided otherwise in the end. While raising the required capital, MegaPro Biomedical has also repositioned its market, changing from the original contrast agent that targets the niche market to iron oxide nanoparticle that is needed by a lot of kidney disease patients.
MegaPro Biomedical currently has a paid-up capital of 210 million with H&Q Venture Capital taking up 40% and the other legal stockholders include MegaBank, Quanqiu Venture Capital and Tainet.
Jassy Wang said that the chronic kidney disease patients in the past need to go to the hospital weekly or fortnightly for iron ion inject due the iron deficiency. Each treatment requires 5-10 injections in the hospital and takes up to 2-3 months to complete. There can also be allergic reaction to high ion dosage and is hence inconvenient for patients with chronic kidney disease.
The iron oxide nanoparticle developed by MegaPro Biomedical is the first in the domestic industry that can be injected in one shot. This eliminates the need for multiple treatments and the product has high biocompatibility and low toxicity. It can be easily converted and stored as ferritin in the liver and release into the bloodstream when needed, treating anemia. This convenience will definitely benefit the patients.
Jassy Wang also stated that the iron oxide nanoparticles will complete its animal testing will be completed in the latter half of this year and the first clinical trial can be completed in next year. The second clinical trial will require additional funding, suggesting the challenges that the company is likely to face. However, Jassy and her team members are confident that they can overcome these challenges.