Health and Lifesciences Talking Points 05-08-2016


In today’s Talking Points: Citic Group partnering with Japanese and Korean groups to expand its medical and health services in China; Canadian doctors use Chinese medical device technology in revolutionary heart surgery; Chinese scientists reducing mosquito population in Guangzhou in an effort to target Zika; Chinese scientists developing 3D-printing technology to produce skin grafts.

Citic to broaden healthcare business in China
Chinese state-owned Citic Group, which operates general hospital and aged care facilities in China under its Medical and Health Group, is planning to partner with Japanese based Itochu and Korean based Charoen Pokphand Group to expand its medical and health services in China to meet the needs of China’s aging population and utilize advanced Japanese medical technology and clinical skills.  Moves by Itochu and Thai-based CP Group to purchase a 1.2 trillian yuan stake in Citic Group’s Hong Kong listed Citic Ltd are currently stalled and Citic and Itochu also have a memorandum of understanding to work together in the oil and gas sector.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review


Canadian doctors use Chinese medical device technology in revolutionary heart surgery
St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver performed the implantation of the J-valve, a prosthetic valve used to treat leaky valves.  Unlike traditional devices which rely on calcification to be anchored in place, the J-valve clips onto the native valve making it safer particularly in older patients.  St Paul’s have performed the only four implantation of the device outside of China to date and this was the first to use the easier to implement second-generation J-valve.  The device was invented in Suzhou in 2009 and is waiting for approval from Chinese authorities following the successful completion of 100 experimental operations.

Source: Xinhua


Chinese mosquito factory targets Zika virus 
Scientists in Guangzhou are infecting mosquitoes with wolbachia bacteria and releasing them on an island on the outskirts of the city in a bid to wipe out Zika as well as dengue and yellow fever.  The bacteria leads to sterilization of female mosquitoes and has reduced the mosquito population on the island by more than 90%.  While the transmission of Zika virus in infected females is suppressed, the project mainly addresses Zika by reducing the mosquito population density below the threshold which causes disease transmission.  The Sun Yat-sen University Centre of Vector Control for Tropical Diseases pioneered the idea in 2012 and have so far released 3 million mosquitoes onto the island.

Source: The Africa Report


Chinese researchers developing 3D-printed skin
Researchers at the Burns Institute at the Southwest Hospital in Chongqing are working to develop the processes and technology to be able to print skin grafts for burns patients.  Small tissue samples have been successfully printed at other research centres internationally but the challenge is to keep it alive and functional for clinical use.  A 3D-printing factor for medical products, a joint venture between U.S. based Hkable and Chinese biotechnology company Jintai is under construction in Chongqing.

Source: China Daily