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A*STAR signs pact with South Korean institutes to advance glycomics research

A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute on Wednesday signed MOUs with two South Korean institutes to advance collaboration in the field of glycomics in Asia.

SINGAPORE: A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) on Wednesday signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with two South Korean institutes to advance collaboration in the field of glycomics in Asia.

BTI, Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) and Chungnam National University's Graduate School of Analytics Science and Technology (GRAST) signed the agreements at a two-day symposium on glycomics, which ends on Thursday.

The signing was witnessed by A*STAR chairman Lim Chuan Poh and South Korea's Ambassador to Singapore Suh Chung-ha.

The MOUs will collectively increase the impact of both countries' glycomics capabilities and establish them as leaders in Asia in glycomics research.

Glycomics refers to the study of the structure and function of sugars -- also known as glycans -- in biological systems.

Glycans are known to modify the functions and characteristics of proteins and are important to diseases as varied as cancer, arthritis, cholera and malaria.

Glycan structure analysis is an increasingly important component in biologics design and production to determine the safety and efficacy of biopharmaceutical drugs.

In a statement, A*STAR said the new partnerships will bring together both countries' strengths in biologics research and manufacturing and increase the collective impact of their glycomics capabilities.

It said that Singapore is home to many innovative biopharma companies while South Korea has built up a strong foundation in biosimilars development and production.

The Korean institutes will provide their expertise in advanced analytical technologies for biopharmaceutical characterisation and glycomics research in cancer.

BTI provides the biological context and is equipped with a diverse suite of bioprocessing technologies and in-house analytical capabilities for the whole biologics value chain, from upstream research to manufacturing.

The collaborations between BTI, KBSI and GRAST will collectively advance glycomics research in Asia by encouraging joint research projects, conferences and workshops and talent exchange and development through manpower training to facilitate the exchange of knowledge.  

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