PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia conducted the most number of clinical researches in various medical fields last year, making it one of the top three main players in the region after Singapore.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said a total of 215 new clinical researches were initiated last year, making it the highest since the inception of Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) under the ministry's purview in 2012.
Speaking at the launch of CRM's Annual Report 2021 today, Khairy said the 215 new sponsored clinical researches were carried out in the fields of infectious diseases, oncology, cardiology and hematology.
Malaysia, he added has conducted various types of clinical research since the early 1990s, mostly involving sponsored clinical research, usually funded by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies.
"Clinical studies brings hope and options for patients to benefit from the latest research treatments and innovativeness, which is yet to be available to the public in the market.
"In 2010, Sponsored Clinical Researches were identified as one of the Entry Point Projects under Healthcare National Key Economic Area with the potential of contributing to the country's economic growth, creating new skilled employment opportunities, as well as generating income through the clinical studies investment.
"Then, in 2012 having been named a one-stop centre for clinical research in the region, Malaysia has carried out numerous researches and studies in various medical fields and assisted in the discovery of new treatments and drugs", he said in his opening speech at the launch after the Phase 1 Realisation Project Report (P1RP) presentation at the same event in Putrajaya.
He added that the 215 clinical researches have been translated into one of the highest investment values with RM226 million generated last year.
"Since 2012, CRM has contributed RM834 million in gross national income for the country.
"In addition to these achievements, Malaysia for the first time has improved its position, to second place in the Southeast Asian region after Singapore, in the number of industry-sponsored global clinical studies, " he said.
The ministry through CRM, he said, remains committed to support the development of sponsored clinical research and will ensure that these clinical studies are conducted on the basis of speed, quality, and trustworthiness.
"I am also very proud of the achievements of our researchers, among whom have been recognised as global 'top recruiters' and regional in international studies.
"In addition, the CRM-led P1RP to develop and enhance the capabilities and capacity of these studies has brought about the 'First-in-Patient' research at General Hospitals Sarawak (HUS)".
Khairy said the lead researcher of the study, Dr Chew Lee Ping, has also been recognised as the 'First Global Recruiter' in the study, ahead of other global sites.
"We are also looking forward to more similar achievements, especially with the return of Dr Voon Pei Jye, a HUS medical oncologist and among the leading researchers in the country. Voon just finished his 'fellowship attachment' in the field of early phase research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada," Khairy said.
He added that there were many fields that have yet to be explored and have very high potential.
Robotics Design for surgery and other medical procedures, AI-based programs (Artificial Intelligence) still have room for exploration, he said.
Image source: Bernama
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