For thousands of years, Chinese medicine was used in the prevention and treatment of diseases, and for health maintenance through strengthening and enhancing normal body functions. In recent years, Hong Kong has focused on the translation of Chinese medicinal wisdom into pharmaceutical products using cutting-edge technology. A number of new Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) based drugs have been successfully developed in Hong Kong and used for different treatments of diseases. One notable success was a drug co-developed by the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) for treating irritable bowel syndrome.
To accelerate the development of CHM-based drugs, the Centre for Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development (the Centre) has been established as a strategic platform for promoting collaborations among local and international researchers, institutions and the industry. The Centre aims to enhancing the quality of pre-clinical and clinical CHM research and transforming the results into pharmaceutical products for international markets. In particular, it develops treatments and cures for diseases such as ulcerative colitis and chronic constipation.
The Centre will create a platform for the development of CHM-based drugs, including the functional units of pre-clinical and clinical studies, including pharmacognosy, pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, omics and bioinformatics. It will also support the incubation of new CHM-based pharmaceutical start-ups that will target global markets, and nurtures talent for CHM research in Hong Kong. The Centre will facilitate the development of the first-ever Chinese Medicine Hospital in Hong Kong, which will be in operation by 2025.
Hong Kong has assumed a bridging role and as such is making an important contribution to the introduction of traditional Chinese medicine in the international arena. We are confident that Centre for Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development will play a key role in Hong Kong’s development as a research hub that will advance the modernization of Chinese medicine to achieve major breakthroughs in disease treatment. Ultimately, the Centre’s work will improve treatment for patients in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and the world.
Professor BIAN Zhaoxiang