Hematogenix Marks the Opening of the First Central Laboratory in Clinical Research, Positioning Malaysia as the Asia Pacific Hub

Local scientists and healthcare professionals can benefit from Hematogenix in terms of knowledge and technology transfer

Second left: Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Health Malaysia; and Dr. Hytham Al-Masri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hematogenix

Hematogenix, the first central oncology laboratory for clinical trials in Malaysia has been officiated today by the Minister of Health (MOH), Khairy Jamaluddin. Also present were Lim Bee Vian, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Investment Development) of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Dr Akhmal Yusof, Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) and Dr Hytham Al-Masri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hematogenix.

Hematogenix is a Global Clinical Research Central Laboratory specialising in Oncology/Cancer Research with accreditations from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), has been in operation globally since 2007 and in Malaysia since June 2021. Hematogenix is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with three other branches globally, covering the European market in Manchester, United Kingdom, the China market in Shanghai; and the latest market for the Asia Pacific in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

Khairy Jamaluddin during his speech emphasised that “Apart from boosting foreign direct investments and boosting the clinical research industry, a collaboration between Hematogenix and Ministry of Health (MOH) will spur more local collaborations especially in providing cutting edge diagnostics services to Malaysians as well as the exchange of knowledge and training for scientists within the MOH.” This collaboration will have direct benefits for cancer patients, as various tests for cancer biomarkers are now available locally with a shorter waiting time for diagnosis.

MIDA Deputy CEO (Investment Development), Bee Vian remarked, “The entry of Hematogenix into Malaysia is expected to attract more global clinical trials into the country, moving our pharmaceutical and healthcare industries further up the value chain into research and development (R&D) and related services. This project with a realised investment of more than USD9 million (RM39 million) to date is made possible through our investment policies, incentives, talent development and availability, and facilitation in bringing in biological samples and machineries. In return, our local scientists and healthcare professionals can benefit from Hematogenix in terms of knowledge and technology transfer.”

Dr Akhmal Yusof, CEO of Clinical Research Malaysia mentioned that “The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Hematogenix and CRM was first signed in 2018. This establishment is aligned with MOH’s vision to increase Malaysia’s visibility for global studies, especially sponsored clinical research. The opening of Hematogenix Asia Pacific in Cyberjaya today means we are on the right direction.”

Since 2012, there were more than RM834 million in investments from Clinical Trial Agreements that were reported, contributing to the nation’s Gross National Income. On top of this, more than 2,291 skilled jobs were created in the clinical research industry and about 1,806 sponsored researches were approved by the Medical and Research Ethics Committee. In 2021, CRM has achieved its Phase 1 Realisation Project resulting in an established framework, trained regulators, equipped study site, and an experienced study team, all in place for First-in-Human trials in Malaysia. With the further establishment of Hematogenix Malaysia, the clinical research support required to facilitate global clinical trials, especially early phase drug development, is now made available within the country.

Hematogenix President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Hytham Al-Masri said, “The facility in Cyberjaya is now in operation with 40 trained and qualified members including pathologists, PhD and Masters degree qualified scientists, medical technologists, bioinformaticians and software developers”.

He further added, “Since June 2021, Hematogenix has managed at least 18 clinical studies from multinational global pharmaceutical companies and has processed over 2,000 shipments of biological specimens from study sites across the Asia Pacific, namely Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia.”

As a result, Malaysia is now at the epicentre of cancer clinical trials in the Asia Pacific region.