TeknoLusugan 2020: Teknolohiyang Atin bilang Lunsaran ng Mabisang Pambansang Serbisyong Kalusugan

| Written by Ma. Cristina Vinas

With COVID-19 causing public health lockdowns around the country, TeknoLusugan, the University of the Philippines Manila’s (UP Manila) technology pitching event, went entirely digital for the first time. This 2020, the TeknoLusugan’s theme: “Teknolohiyang Atin bilang Lunsaran ng Mabisang Pambansang Serbisyong Kalusugan” reflects the role of local innovation as catalyst in providing a better and quality healthcare services to the Filipino people. Organized by the UP Manila Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (UPM-TTBDO) under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), the 2-day pitching event were held on November 25, and 27 of 2020 in celebration of the UP Manila Science and Technology (S&T) Week.

Four (4) Guest speakers from renowned institutions were present to give inspirational messages across different topics. One (1) partner from the industry shared the experience of being involved in the technology transfer process. Thirteen (13) technologies of the university were presented by sixteen (16) scientists. The total number of attendees for both events reached Three Hundred (300) from the academe, and private and public sector.

DAY 1: HERBAL TECHNOLOGIES AS MEDICINE AND RAW MATERIAL

UP Manila Chancellor, Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla emphasized the rich and long history of the university when it comes to herbal medicine since the founding of the National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plant (NIRPROMP) in 1977. “The team discovered and developed the herbal medicines, Lagundi and Sambong, that are now frequently used as safe and effective cures to common ailments such as cough and colds,” she said. She encouraged different policy makers in the government, the industry, and the academe to become partners in ensuring the Filipinos’ optimal health by making these herbal technologies accessible and available to all.

The event made another history by conducting the virtual ceremonial signing with three (3) companies facilitated by the UPM-TTBDO Director, Dr. Lourdes Marie S. Tejero. UP Manila was represented by Chancellor Padilla and Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Armando C. Crisostomo. UP inventors and contributors including Dr. Erna C. Arollado, Dr. Leo D.P. Cubillan, Dr. Gracia Fe B. Yu, and National Scientist Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz were present and acknowledged in the event. 

The first agreement is a Licensing Agreement with Greenext Lifescience Corporation (GLC) for the technology Hemoxyther. GLC was represented by its President, Mr. Noel C. Morada. 

The second agreement is a Research Collaboration Agreement with Rohto Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. represented by its Research and Development Group Leader, Mr. Takahiro Kurose. 

The third agreement is a Memorandum of Agreement with D&L Industries Inc. represented by its President and CEO, Mr. Alvin Lao. Also present  for D&L were Mr. Dean Lao Jr., who is the Managing Director of Chemrez Technologies, Inc., Ms. Sonia Salvador, who is the Technical Director of D&L Industries Inc., and Mr. Glenn Apostol, who is the Technical Director of Chemrez Technologies, Inc..

Amidst the pandemic, UP Manila seized to find ways in igniting partnership between the academe and industry. The university wishes to build more partnerships with industries in the future.

Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) Executive Director, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, gave a speech on healthcare research and innovation highlighting the improvement and support provided by the DOST-PCHRD through the years to inspire our scientists to innovate on healthcare.

The first half of technology presentation showcased the following technologies: Broad-Spectrum Ophthalmic Solution for Prophylaxis and Treatment of Ocular Infection by Dr. Cubillan, and Natural Preservatives for Food and other Oral Preparations by Dr. Arollado. Both technologies are available for partnership with industries for its development into a final viable product.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of New Marketlink Pharmaceutical Corporation (NMPC), Dr. Francis Wade Z. Gomez, shared his experiences as one of the university’s partners in technology transfer. This segment of the program really enticed the interest of the attendees as it gave them a glimpse of partnering with the university.

Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Healthcare (PITAHC) Director General, Dr. Annabelle Pabiona-De Guzman, tackled healthcare innovation through herbal medicine. She highlighted the programs of PITAHC to encourage industries to venture into the herbal medicine business as herbal medicines can be at par with synthetic medicines.

The second half of the technology presentation featured herbal medicine technologies from the NIRPROMP namely: Tsaang Gubat tablet for gastrointestinal and biliary colic presented by Mr. Essel N. Tolosa, Yerba Buena tablet as an analgesic and pain reliever presented by Dr. Jaime M. Purificacion, and Ulasimang Bato tablet against hyperuricemia presented by Dr. Cecilia Nelia C. Maramba-Lazarte. All technologies developed by NIRPROMP have been tested safe and efficacious through Clinical Trial Phases 1-3. Thus, ready to manufacture and market as medicine. All technologies are available for licensing through UPM-TTBDO.

The last technology presented was the Natural Product for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Treatment. It was presented by its inventor, Dr. Sheriah Laine M. de Paz-Silava. The technology is available for partnership for its further research and development into the first herbal antiretroviral drug against HIV.

Day 1 of TeknoLusugan’s Master of the Ceremony was Mr. Edwin C. Ruamero, Assistant Professor from the UP Manila College of Pharmacy.

DAY 2: BIOMEDICAL DEVICES AND COVID-RELATED TECHNOLOGIES

Chancellor Padilla described how the year 2020 has seen a rich harvest of technologies and innovations. “At UP Manila, in a wide range of health fields, through its major research hub – the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and its colleges – comprised a formidable research community that responds to the nation’s needs,” she said. UP Manila’s groundbreaking and cutting edge research fulfills its goal of being a contributor to the achievement of national health goals. She said that despite the challenges due to the pandemic, UP Manila was able to turn these into opportunities to address the need for more equipment and devices, additional treatments and therapies, and more relevant and appropriate guidelines for prevention and management. In the past eight (8) months, the total tally of academic research reached 300. Chancellor Padilla reiterated the need for reliable industry partners in turning these researches into viable products for the public.

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) Director General, Atty. Rowel S. Barba, tackled intellectual property protection. He highlighted that the technologies developed by UP Manila research, faculty, and students are not only relevant but potentially impactful amidst the pandemic. “To spark the change, we need to scale up our quality of living and lead healthier and better lives,” he said. Atty. Barba encouraged the industries to walk hand-in-hand with the university to further collaborate and lead market-driven research to better improve the health and quality of life of the Filipinos.

The first technology presented was the Acquila VR. It was presented by its inventors, Dr. Francis Gregory R. Samonte, Mr. Marvin John Ignacio, and Mr. Kevin U. Facun. The technology is available for partnership for its optimization studies. It can be licensed as well for manufacturing and marketing.

Genetics of Lupus was the second technology presented by UP Manila’s Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Dr. Michael L. Tee. The technology is available for further development through industry collaboration.

The next batch of technologies presented were the Philippine Carrageenan Lyophilized Wafers presented by its inventor Ms. Razile Kay A. Quibin, and the Clinical Validation of an Ergonomically Designed Kerrison Rongeur presented by its inventor Dr. Rafael C. Bundoc. All technologies are available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

The home grown start-up of UP Manila, Pivotal Peak Digital Health Solutions, Inc. (PPDHSI), also presented the Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS) that is currently deployed to several Local Government Units (LGUs) in the country. CHITS was presented by Dr. Hari Hamoy. PPDHSI is ready to provide service to public and private health institutions.

Department of Science and Technology – Technology Application and Promotions Institute (DOST-TAPI) Director, Engineer Edgar I. Garcia, tackled technology commercialization. He highlighted the support and assistance that DOST-TAPI is providing to interested technology adopters for successful commercialization of government-funded technologies.

The latter part of the program is for the presentation of COVID-related technologies available for industry partnership. The first COVID-related technology is the MyBESHIE for Patient Care and Health Workers’ Safety presented by Dr. Prospero C. Naval, and Dr. Nathaniel S. Orillaza. It is a telepresence device that is extremely helpful to the protocol on social distancing during the pandemic.

The second and final COVID-related technology is the SaniPod Disinfection Cubicle presented by Dr. Edward H.M. Wang and Engr. Jason Pechardo. It is a cubicle for disinfection of personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by our healthcare workers to minimize contamination risk.

Vice Chancellor for Research Crisostomo officially ended the event by reiterating the importance of transferring technologies, especially government-funded ones to the public, and how industries play an important role in this. As much as it is important to disclose and protect these technologies, it should be ensured that these technologies are being utilized and making the life of the Filipino people easier.

Day 2 of TeknoLusugan’s Master of the Ceremony was Dr. Philip B. Fullante, Clinical Associate Professor from the UP Manila College of Medicine.

To inquire about intellectual property, innovation, and technology transfer in the campus, please visit the website of the UP Manila Technology Transfer & Business Development Office at http://ttbdo.upm.edu.ph/. (MMVinas)