Perfect partnership between academic, clinical and industry scientists


The anti-leukemia drug, Glivec (or Gleevec), perfectly demonstrates the partnership between academic, clinical and industry scientists, who are all involved across the entire drug discovery and development process. It is one of the first examples of synergistic partnership among the vast areas of academics, clinicians, patients, doctors, regulators and the industry leading to public-private partnership (PPP) in the pharmaceutical industry. Glivec is prescribed for targeted therapy against certain leukaemia and solid cancers. It is a product of constructive partnerships that spanned 18 years among public and private organisations, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, United States), the Friedrich-Miescher Institute (Basel, Switzerland), the Oregon Health Sciences University (Portland, US), Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis in Basel, Switzerland), the National Cancer Institute (US), the National Institutes of Health (US) and the US Food and Drug Administration. PPPs are also found in Singapore. One of the earliest PPPs formed in Singapore was the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD), dedicated to the development of new drugs against neglected diseases. NITD discovered a novel malaria drug target and came up with two new classes of anti-malaria compounds which were put on clinical trials. This has made NITD’s drug discovery efforts a considerable success.


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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.