Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences

color = "#DF1F26";.pullquote_left1, .pullquote_right1, .pullquote_left, .pullquote_right { color: #000000; background: #ffffff; }.breakhead { color: #DF1F26; border-bottom: 1px solid #DF1F26; } Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) foresees Thailand to be a world leader in life sciences via three strategies: Developing and adding value to health product and services wi

TCELS
Jan 12, 2010

Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences

The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) foresees Thailand to be a world leader in life sciences via three strategies:

  • Developing and adding value to health product and services with emphasis on improving infrastructures, sources of funding, human resource, technology, and new standards to meet international requirements.
  • Promoting the development of business and investment in the life sciences.
  • Developing and strengthening the cooperation among domestic and international organizations.

TCELS is a fully integrated bio and pharmaceutical services provider offering preclinical, clinical, commercial, consulting, and capital solutions. In just four years there has been widely recognized accomplishments supporting and driving research areas described below.

Pharmacogenomics

"TCEL' role is to position Thailand in the global life sciences industry and services."
Prof. Pornchai Matangkasombut, The Board Advisor, TCELS

Thailand has recently launched a genotyping initiative. TCELS’ Pharmacogenomics project—in collaboration with Ramathibodi hospital, Mahidol University,...

Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences

The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) foresees Thailand to be a world leader in life sciences via three strategies:

  • Developing and adding value to health product and services with emphasis on improving infrastructures, sources of funding, human resource, technology, and new standards to meet international requirements.
  • Promoting the development of business and investment in the life sciences.
  • Developing and strengthening the cooperation among domestic and international organizations.

TCELS is a fully integrated bio and pharmaceutical services provider offering preclinical, clinical, commercial, consulting, and capital solutions. In just four years there has been widely recognized accomplishments supporting and driving research areas described below.

Pharmacogenomics

"TCEL' role is to position Thailand in the global life sciences industry and services."
Prof. Pornchai Matangkasombut, The Board Advisor, TCELS

Thailand has recently launched a genotyping initiative. TCELS’ Pharmacogenomics project—in collaboration with Ramathibodi hospital, Mahidol University, Thai Ministry of Public Health, and RIKEN Center of Genomic Medicine in Japan—uses a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS). Here, two groups of participants are required: people with an adverse drug reaction (cases) and similar people without (controls). After genotyping each participant, the set of million markers such as SNPs is scanned into computers. Then bioinformatics is applied to survey participants’ genomes for markers of genetic variation. For instance, different adverse reactions to the antiretroviral drugs nevirapine and stavudine were found to be associated with specific genetic variations (HLA-B*3505 and SNPs in the CCHCR1 gene for the former, and HLA-B*4001 for the latter). These associated variations then point to the region of the human genome where the cause of the adverse reaction is likely to reside. Since the entire genome is analyzed for genetic associations of particular adverse drug reactions, this technique allows a disease to be investigated in a non-hypothesis-driven manner. With the discovery described above, a low-price lab chip is being developed in collaboration with Japanese biotech company, Riken Genesis. The prototype of the lab chip and machine are being validated with 2,200 HIV-1 patients who have taken the antiretroviral drug cocktail, GPOvir (3TC+d4T+Nevirapine). A major factor that makes it difficult for patients to take antiretroviral drugs on schedule as prescribed is adverse drug reactions. Missing just two drug doses can result in increased levels of virus in the body, or resistance to the drug, derailing their effectiveness and causing treatment failure and waste of financial resources. Patients then need to switch to costlier second-line drugs. Pharmacogenetic testing could minimize adverse drug reactions and thus increase compliance with drug treatment. This will directly increase durability of first-line antiretroviral drugs.

Genetic Service Project

"With my work in natural latex rubber, I am very pleased that TCELS has given the support so we can finally come up with the whitening product from natural latex".
Prof. Dr. Rapepun Wititsuwannakul, Project Investigator, Prince of Songkla University

The Center for Medical Genetics Research at Rajanukul Institute, Bangkok, takes its pride as the sole genetic laboratory of the Department of Mental Health, the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. The Center’s main missions cover both facets of medical sciences: researching the cause of mental disorders and providing genetic diagnostic services to clinicians.

Currently, the Center is collaborating with the Riken Insti- tute of Japan to conduct a genome-wide association study. The main objective is to discover genes responsible for major depressive disorder, especially in Thai and Asian populations. The Center also collaborates with leading medical universities in Thailand in a pharmacogenetic study. The expected result is to improve the efficacy of antidepressant treatment.

For genetic services, the Center provides comprehensive genetic testing, ranging from a chromosome study to DNA analysis. All tests provided are ISO15189: 2007 certified. This reflects our commitment to deliver the highest quality services to the users.

To achieve our vision in improving patient care, the Center is widely open to collaboration, either from private or public sectors. Our fields of interest include, but are not limited to, genetics and mental disorders, genetic and developmental disorders, and neurogenetic disorder.

PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic mental disorder which is a state of anxiety that can develop after exposure to one or more traumatic events. PTSD mostly develops among survivors from great natural disasters. TCELS provided benefits for patients from the 2004 tsunami in the south of Thailand and extended its support to the work of Chulalongkorn University and Rajanukul Institute. This resulted in the collection of more than 3,000 genetic samples and in-depth information of the survivors from the tsunami and their relatives. This data has been analyzed and the researchers are on the verge of identifying the genetic marker that leads to PTSD. The hope is to ultimately reduce Thailand’s relatively high budget allocated for treating mental patients. Now the project is cooperating with an international organization to further study this area, and has also attracted the interest from the Department of Mental Health to extend the scope of the project to benefit a larger group of people.

The Hb Extract for Improving Skin Health

Rubber trees are wounded almost everyday by tapping. This repetitive wounding stress assists in signaling the tree to produce special phytochemicals that facilitate rapid wound-healing and new tissue generation to replace the old tissue damaged by tapping. It is thus feasible that natural rubber latex will be very rich in various phytochemicals such as protease inhibitors; organic acids AHA, BHA and AA; the sugars sucrose, fructose, and quebrachitol; the super antioxidant ergothioneine; vitamins B2 and B5; the minerals Cr, Cu, Mn, Se, and Zn; and tannin—most of which have been included in expensive skin health care products from reputable "beauty care" companies. Accordingly, an Hb extract, with a characteristic 1H-NMR spectrum, was prepared from fresh latex serum. Following the OECD Test Guidelines, using animal models, upon applying this Hb extract onto skin, no adverse effects were observed in irritation and skin sensitization tests. The microbial load of the Hb extract was within the standard limits allowed by the FDA. Moreover, an Hb cream, containing 5 gram % of the Hb dried powder extract, was shown to improve the skin health of several volunteers. After nine weeks of topical application, the self-assessment data collected from those with facial melasma (n=64) indicated positive effects on skin whitening (98.4%), melasma fading (96.8% ), skin smoothening (92.2%) and reduction of sebum level (53.1%). For those with facial acne (n=36), 100% of sufferers reported reduction of skin inflammation, 100% reduction of acne, 88.9% reduction of sebum level, and 86.1% reduction of the intensity of acne scarring.

Pre-Clinical, Clinical and Research infrastructure

As a member, and a national focal point in life sciences, TCELS has been assigned by APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum Strategic Plan to work on a technology platform for pre-clinical and clinical research. The following is the infrastructure established in Thailand:

  • Laboratory Animals Breeding (AAALAC)
  • Laboratory Animals Monitoring Center (Standard ISO/IEC 17025)
  • Safety Testing and Toxicology laboratories service Unit (OECD GLP)
  • OECD GLP Accreditation Body
  • Clinical Research Collaboration Network (CRCN) facilitating multi-site studies
  • Joint Research Ethical Committees (JREC) for multi-center studies
  • CRO, Destination for medical outsourcing
  • International standard clinical trial sites
  • Standard Data Management Units (DMU)
  • Tsunami PTSD Genomics Center
  • The Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand
  • Mental Health Genetic Development Foundation
  • International Anti-Aging Institute

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