TMU and Academia Sinica officially launch the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative

Source: TMU Taipei Cancer Center

Published on 2020-12-28

Taipei Medial University and the Academia Sinica signed a contract and officially launched the “Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative (TPMI)” in March 2020.

The initiative is a large-scale clinical genetic research project conducted by the Academia Sinica in collaboration with 13 medical center-level hospitals in Taiwan.

In recent years, the number of patients with chronic diseases has been increasing due to population aging. Countries around the world have begun to promote and develop precision medicine, such as the All of Us Research Program in the US, the Precision Medicine Catapult in the UK, and the Genomic Medicine in France. In the modern era of booming genetic analysis technology, precision medicine has become a new trend in medical care development worldwide. The TMU healthcare system is participating in the second phase of the TPMI project. Superintendent Dr. Jeng-Fong Chiou (邱仲峯) of the TMU Taipei Cancer Center is the principal investigator, and TMU Hospital Superintendent Dr. Ray-Jade Chen (陳瑞杰), Wanfang Hospital Superintendent Dr. Ta-Liang Chen (陳大樑), and Shuang-Ho Hospital Superintendent Dr. Mai-Szu Wu (吳麥斯) are co-PIs. 50,000 subjects will be recruited to participate in the project.

Dr. Jeng-Fong Chiou of the TMU Taipei Cancer Center is the TPMI principal investigator for TMU.

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Taiwan has many advantages in precision medicine, including high ethnic homogeneity, a sound health care system, complete medical records, and top information research and development capabilities. However, despite its numerous advantages for developing precision medicine, the amount of Taiwanese specific genetic data remains very inadequate. Currently, commonly used genetic data are mainly from the West, which cannot precisely reflect the unique genetic mutations of Taiwanese. Therefore, to promote precision medicine in Taiwan, it is urgent to establish a Taiwanese specific gene database.

TPMI project is key to the development of precision medicine for clinical application. It collects Taiwanese specific data and builds a Taiwanese genetic database so that bioinformatics research teams can use AI for big data analysis and accelerate the discovery of the risk factors of adverse drug reactions and diseases common to Taiwanese. Therefore, the Initiative will not only promote the health of the Taiwanese people and reduce medical costs, but also contribute to the sustainable development of precision medicine, biological big data and biomedicine.
TMU will simultaneously receive from the Academia Sinica precision medical and genetic analysis-related equipment worth about NT$20 million. Dr. Jeng-Fong Chiou said that with the advancement in genetic testing technology, information hidden in the genes can be slowly analyzed and decoded, and data with very high reference value for treatment or prevention can be further predicted. Such precision medical testing is expected to improve the medical care quality and medication safety of the TMU Healthcare System and even throughout Taiwan.

Introduction to Taiwan’s Precision Medicine Initiative

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