NTU Assoc. Prof. Joachim Loo (right) and SingHealth Assoc. Prof. Lim Kah Leong (left) are developing a new nanomedicine to treat Parkinson’s disease


Feb 2016

Scientists from Nanyang Technology University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and SingHealth have developed a pill that contains the same cocktail of three standard drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, which can release the medication slowly during a 24-hour period, benefiting both patients and caregivers.

Developed by NTU’s Associate Prof. Joachim Loo from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, the new technology, which uses a patented micro-encapsulation process, is now being tested in animal models at the laboratory of Associate Prof. Lim Kah Leong from the National Neuroscience Institute.

To encourage similar collaborations, NTU and SingHealth have announced a new five-year research agreement. The first joint research grant, which is worth S$2m and will fund six joint research projects of up to S$300,000 each, was also announced. The funds will enable NTU scientists and SingHealth clinicians to develop practical healthcare solutions, such as biomedical devices, novel drugs and new treatment methods to prevent, diagnose or treat diseases.

Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO of SingHealth, said: ‘The NTU-SingHealth partnership is highly complementary and will facilitate research from bench to bedside. Each group brings their unique expertise to the research team and, ultimately, we hope working together will produce tangible outcomes that benefit patients.’

NTU President, Prof. Bertil Andersson, said the partnership taps into the deep engineering and life sciences expertise at NTU, including new life sciences techniques used in emerging research areas such as phenomics and genomics at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. ‘NTU has a track record of working with hospitals to do research that will benefit patients, and this partnership with SingHealth is an expansion of our previous successful collaboration,’ he said.

The joint grant-call projects will focus on nationally relevant diseases, covering several key clinical areas (ageing, diabetes, eye diseases, infectious diseases, skin and plastic surgery, and medical technology). The plan is to initiate more collaborative research projects that will result in a new range of products, medications, systems and equipment, adding to those currently being developed by NTU and SingHealth.


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