Lifestyle Fitness Brand Space Cycle Secures RMB100 Million Series B Round Led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund
 
Jan 16, 2018
Category:

SAN FRANCISCO, BEIJING and TAIPEI, Taiwan, Jan. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Space Cycle, the leading premium boutique fitness and active lifestyle brand, announced today that it has closed a RMB100 million Series B round led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund II, managed by WI Harper Group. Mr. Edward Liu, Partner at WI Harper Group, will join Space Cycle's Board of Directors.

With six studios in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, Space Cycle is at the cutting edge of the live fitness industry, revolutionizing the fitness experience with its signature styles of indoor cycling, barre, yoga and dance. In 2017, Space Cycle opened three new studios in China – including its flagship studios in Beijing and Shanghai. Space Cycle's state-of-the-art multimedia fitness studios, celebrity trainers and curated music playlists, through partnerships with popular music streaming services in Greater China, offer a tailored thematic live fitness experience that integrates music and entertainment with group fitness.

Proceeds from the Series B funding will primarily be used to add new concept studios throughout China. Space Cycle will also develop its online platform to further grow its offline-to-online presence.

CastleHill Partners was financial advisor to Space Cycle.

China's health and fitness industry is set to reach more than $5 billion this year driven by the 385 million urban millennials with increasing disposable incomes and health awareness. These consumers are shifting focus from traditional fitness and wellness options to more customizable and entertaining experiences.

"Space Cycle's multi-modality premium fitness model allows people a choice in their fitness routine," said Matthew Allison, founder and CEO of Space Cycle. "At Space Cycle, music is the secret sauce and we use it to create a vibrant social community and an entertainment driven, multi-layered fitness experience. With our proprietary training programs, celebrity trainers, live DJs and technologically advanced studios – all in high traffic premier commercial and retail locations, we represent a world-leading, fitness 3.0 offering to our user base."

Mr. Edward Liu, Partner at WI Harper Group, commented, "The Space Cycle team are innovators and disruptors in their industry. Converging fitness, music and entertainment has been a very successful model in the US market. The same trend is emerging in the Chinese market and Space Cycle is at the forefront. I'm very honored to join Space Cycle's board and look forward to contributing closely with their team."

About Space Cycle

Space Cycle operates premium boutique fitness studios throughout mainland China and Taiwan that combine fitness and entertainment through music, pop culture and innovative teaching methods to change the way people socialize around group exercise. Since 2005, the SPACE Group has operated Space Yoga, a leading yoga brand throughout Greater China. Space Cycle offers indoor cycling, barre, yoga and dance in a high-tech atmosphere specially curated around music, with in-studio software, lighting, audio and video-mapping technology that's designed exclusively by the Grammy Award winning team 3-Legged Dog (3LD). Space Cycle instructors are developed by master and celebrity trainers in their physical modalities and in the art of using music in their classes and in engaging with Space Cycle members via social media. The Company has also organized hundreds of celebrity-led fitness-related events and has strategic partnerships with Nike, Lululemon and Mercedes Benz, as well as an online store and a proprietary mobile online booking app. Currently, there are six SPACE studios operating in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei with plans to open more studios throughout Greater China.

About Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund

Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund is a not-for-profit initiative launched by Alibaba Group in 2015 to help young entrepreneurs and graduates realize their dreams and vision. The fund was set up in Taiwan to run the investment program locally. The fund will provide talented young entrepreneurs with access to investment capital and receive mentorship that will help them tap into the Mainland China and global markets through the Alibaba ecosystem.

About WI Harper Group

Founded in 1993, WI Harper Group is a global leader in cross-border early stage venture investing between the US and Asia. The firm manages US$1 billion in committed capital and has made over 300 investments with more than 100 exits. The firm maintains three offices in San Francisco, Taipei, and Beijing with over 20 investment professionals.

About CastleHill Partners

CastleHill Partners is a specialist merchant bank working with clients in the media, consumer upgrade and lifestyle industries in China and globally.

Media Contacts:

For Space Cycle media enquires please contact Suzzen Hsu: suzzen@withinspace.com
For WI Harper media enquiries please contact Cathy Zhuang: cathy.zhuang@wiharper.com.cn

Source: WI Harper Group

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Self-Sovereign identity solution Blockpass announces key memberships with DIF, Trusted IOT Alliance
 
JCN Newswire
Jan 17, 2018
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HONG KONG, Jan 17, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - Self-sovereign identity solution Blockpass has announced two new key memberships cementing its preparations for the public release of its application at the end of March this year. These memberships support the Blockpass mission of providing users with a blockchain based self-sovereign identity solution to better interact with regulated industries and the connected world.

The first membership is with the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), a group of leading industrial identity and technology experts, aims to establish how best to manage the future of distributed identity solutions and how the industry can focus on the development of standards. As a DIF member, Blockpass joins a large number of organisations, from enterprises to start ups, committed to the creation of an interoperable ecosystem of decentralised identities.

"Through DIF's broader network, Blockpass can engage in high level conversations regarding the immediate real world application potential for emergent object and device identity profiles," stated Hans Lombardo, CMO of Blockpass. "We have been looking for a foundation that aligns with our core pillars of creating a blockchain identity protocol for the connected world, and it's obvious to us that DIF is the right fit to continue to grow and nurture our business."

The second membership is with the Trusted IOT Alliance, a consortium whose focus is 'Powering A Hyper Connected World' by connecting and securing the next generation of smart IoT products with blockchain technology for a more trusted, secure and scalable Internet of Things. This membership will allow Blockpass to engage with industrial leaders and leading blockchain startups to determine key layers of a baseline identity standard for all connected devices.

The memberships will create a collaborative environment in which foundational identity protocols can be developed and tested, enabling a new generation of highly efficient decentralized autonomous utilities. With the use of blockchain, Blockpass is in a position where it can propose alternative solutions to centralized data storage that will provide two huge benefits to consumers and service providers alike. Firstly, users will be in control of their identity and only they can decide who can access it, and secondly that no centralized server stores sensitive personal data.

About Blockpass IDN
The goal of Blockpass IDN is global realization of identity for the Internet of Everything. Through the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts, Blockpass is a production ready Regtech platform offering shared regulatory and compliance services for humans, businesses, objects and devices. As this identity system supports verification of humans (KYC), objects (KYO) and connected devices (KYD), it will enable the development of new applications that rely on a trusted connection between human, corporate, and device identities.

Registered in Hong Kong, Blockpass IDN is a joint venture of Infinity Blockchain Labs and Chain of Things. Blockpass IDN licenses its technology from the non-profit Blockpass Foundation, registered in the Isle of Man.

Media Contact:
Caitlin Betts
Email: press@blockpass.org
Telephone: +852 9733 4935

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Miiny to Take Singapore-Developed Mobile Games Global with Top Local Talents
 
JCN Newswire
Jan 15, 2018
Category:

Home-grown mobile game developer launches talent competition in search of Singapore's top mobile developers and illustrators, while introducing three new mobile games

SINGAPORE - (ACN Newswire) - Homegrown mobile game developer, Miiny Mobile Gaming Network has announced its inaugural Mobile Game Development and Illustration Talent Competition today, at the company's launch and networking event, a platform for aspiring game developers and illustrators. Through the seven-month competition, Miiny aims to discover and recognise aspiring mobile game developers and illustrators in Singapore, while providing them an opportunity to collaborate with Miiny on top quality mobile games across the globe.

"We are constantly on the lookout for collaborative opportunities, said Kenneth Tham, Founder of Miiny. "Our first ever Mobile Game Development and Illustration Talent Competition is the perfect avenue for us to reach out to undiscovered local talents who have a passion for the gaming industry, especially within Singapore. Through this initiative, we also aim to develop a stable community of homegrown game developers, while providing global collaborative opportunities."

Winners of the competition will be invited to join Miiny's development team and publish their prize-winning games on Miiny's platform. Winning game developers will also receive up to S$5,000 worth of prizes, while winning illustrators will receive up to S$3,000 worth of prizes. Opened to all Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, judges will focus on participants originality, creativity, design and interface as judging criteria.

Also debuting at the event are three mobile games uniquely developed by Miiny. Available for download on the Google Play and Apple App Store, these games include:

- Miiny Landlord Fight - A card game based on the hugely popular game from China, Dou Di Zhu. In this game, two Farmers challenge one Landlord, the side that plays all of his/her cards first wins the game.

- Egg Legend - A three-match game that requires different strategies to arrange three to five eggs in a row or column (horizontally or vertically). l You are part of the mighty King Eggzian army and their quest to reclaim the baby Eggzians, outplaying and outwitting the Dragon that has stolen the baby Eggzians.

- Miiny Poker - Designed based on the world's most popular poker game, "Texas Hold 'Em", the rules are simple: Place your bets, pick your cards and play. Players can showcase their skills against the best poker players from all over the world.

Mobile Game Development and Illustration Talent Competition Details

The official competition's official website www.miinycontest.com will go live on 16 January 2018. Interested participants can register by 15 March, and submit their games through the portal by 9 August. Judging will commence from 10 August to 9 October, and winners will be publicly announced by the end of October.

About Miiny Holdings

Miiny Mobile Gaming Network is a Singapore start-up that specialises in mobile game development and aims to be the first Singapore company to have a strong presence in the global gaming industry. Spearheaded by Kenneth Tham, who has been in the IT and games development industry for 15 years, Miiny conceptualises and develops mobile games based on the foundations of being "fun, futuristic, tech and educational".

Media Contacts
Miiny Holdings
Nicholas Yong
Email: nicholasyong@miiny.com
Tel: +65 6718 6720

Ooffle Pte. Ltd. (Events)
Elaine Lor
Email: support@ooffle.com
Tel: +65 9720 1509

PRecious Communications (Media)
Darren Beck and Gabriella Teo
Email: ooffle@preciouscomms.com
Tel: +65 6303 0567

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ADB 2017 Operations Reach $28.9 Billion
 
Jan 13, 2018
Category:

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (12 January 2018) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations—comprising approvals of loans and grants, technical assistance (TA), and cofinancing—reached $28.9 billion in 2017 in its continued efforts to help meet Asia and the Pacific’s development needs, according to preliminary figures released today.

Approvals of loans and grants from ADB’s own resources reached a record $19.1 billion, representing a 9% increase from the $17.5 billion seen in 2016. This puts ADB well on its way to meet its $20 billion target by 2020. Of the total, nonsovereign (primarily private sector) operations accounted for $3.2 billion, a 26% increase from $2.5 billion in 2016. TA, meanwhile, increased by about 22% to $205 million from $169 million in the previous year.

Commitments (the amount of loans and grants signed)—ADB’s new performance measure—reached $20.1 billion. This is a significant increase from $13.3 billion in 2016, reflecting the signing of large projects approved in 2016 and 2017.

“The strong figures for ADB operations in the past year were supported by the successful merger of ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund lending operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet—which took effect at the start of 2017,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said. “This will allow us to deliver a much higher level of assistance to our developing member countries for years to come without seeking a capital increase.”

A highlight of ADB’s operational figures for 2017 is climate financing, which reached a record $4.5 billion (comprising mitigation $3.6 billion and adaptation $0.9 billion), a 21% increase from 2016. This puts ADB in a good position to achieve its $6 billion climate financing target by 2020.

Cofinancing approvals declined to $9.5 billion in 2017 from the $13.9 billion recorded in 2016, partly due to the delay of large expected cofinanced projects. Disbursements were $11.7 billion in 2017, compared to $12.7 billion in 2016. This is because of lower approvals, and hence disbursements, of policy-based lending and counter-cyclical support facility, among other factors.

“Disbursements are essential to make a difference on the ground. Cofinancing and catalyzation is a much-discussed strategy in the international community to realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Nakao. “ADB will come up with additional concrete measures to increase disbursements and cofinancing, building on the new procurement policy approved in April 2017 and ongoing efforts to leverage resources.”

Among ADB’s other operational highlights were projects that combine finance with innovative approaches to development, including satellite data and remote sensing to improve irrigation in Indonesia and Pakistan, pilot testing of climate-smart agriculture practices in Bangladesh, and supporting social welfare reforms in Mongolia to promote human development.

An innovative $100 million TA loan to the Philippines, approved in October 2017, will help the government prepare and deliver infrastructure projects under its Build Build Build program.

On the funding side, ADB offered new and innovative thematic products such as the health bond and gender bond. This is on top of increased efforts to raise local currency funding to meet the growing demand for nonsovereign local currency loans. ADB’s Indonesian rupiah bond in December was the first bond issued from a multilateral development bank of which Indonesia is a shareholder.

ADB launched three high-impact publications in 2017. Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs estimated Asia and the Pacific’s annual infrastructure needs at $1.7 trillion per year until 2030. A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific put forward scenarios of the devastating effects of climate change. The ADB history book, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific focused on the region’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB over 50 years.

To scale up the bank’s operations with quality, the ADB Board approved the 2018 budget totaling $672.3 million, an increase of 3.9% over 2017, comprising 2.2% price growth and 1.7% volume growth. This budget supports the ongoing investments in IT reforms and organizational resilience. ADB continues to make its utmost efforts at staff optimization and efficiency measures.

A key priority for ADB in 2018 is to finalize its new corporate strategy, Strategy 2030. ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors will be held in Manila again in May after 6 years. Strategy 2030, the impact of technological change and globalization on jobs, aging and longevity dividends, role of women entrepreneurs, and private sector participation in infrastructure development will be among the topics discussed. ADB expects more than 3,000 participants to attend the meeting.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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CITIC Resources (1205) Received the Honor of 'Best Corporate Governance Award'
 
Jan 12, 2018
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(Hong Kong, 12 January 2018) - CITIC Resources Holdings Limited ("CITIC Resources" or the "Company") (HKEx stock code: 1205) has won the "Best Corporate Governance Award" at "2017 China Financial Market Award Gala".

China Financial Market Award Gala, jointly organized by the financial magazine China Financial Market and other professional organizations including The Listed Companies Council of Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association, Hong Kong China M&A Association, Chinese Financial Association of Hong Kong, Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong, as well as Chinese Asset Management Association of Hong Kong, intends to reward the enterprises in China and Hong Kong for their outstanding performance.

CITIC Resources was honored with the "Best Corporate Governance Award" for its continuous improvement in business performance and maintaining a good framework of corporate governance. This demonstrates the recognition and endorsement from capital market and business community for the Company's determination in making advancement, strengthened management, scientifically decision-making, and continuous improvement in business performance in recent years.

Mr. Suo Zhengang, vice chairman and chief executive officer of the Company said, "The award is the appreciation and encouragement to CITIC Resources in the pursuit of improving business performance and seeking long-term development in the challenging market conditions in the past two years. We will continue to do our best as always, safeguard the interests of shareholders and stakeholders, as well as to achieve sustainable development of the Company."

- End -

About CITIC Resources Holdings Limited (HKEx stock code: 1205)
CITIC Resources Holdings Limited has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1997. Principal activities of the Company include the exploration, development and production of oil and coal, investments in manganese, bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting, as well as the import and export of commodities. CITIC Limited is the largest shareholder with about a 60% interest in the Company.

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VIVOTEK and Trend Micro Announce Strategic Partnership in Cybersecurity
 
Jan 10, 2018
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TAIPEI, Taiwan, Jan. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- VIVOTEK (TWSE: 3454), the global leading IP surveillance solution provider, and Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced a strategic partnership to offer cutting-edge cyber-defense solutions. With VIVOTEK's profound experience in IP surveillance and Trend Micro's extensive expertise in cybersecurity, the partnership enables users to enjoy higher levels of network security when deploying VIVOTEK's network cameras and strengthen defenses in response to the emerging security challenges of the Internet of Things (IoT). The brand new VIVOTEK cybersecurity enhanced products will be launched by the end of January and will be revealed in VIVOTEK's booth (#SA-C41) at Intersec 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Steve Ma, Vice president of VIVOTEK Brand Business Research & Development Division, commented, "Our approach requires a tight integration between hardware-based security features and software applications. Joining forces with Trend Micro is a vital step and together we are proud to roll out the first cybersecurity enhanced network cameras in the IP surveillance industry. Thanks to Trend Micro IoT Security for Surveillance Cameras (TMIS-CAM) solution, these cameras are able to automatically detect and prevent credential attack and block suspicious events. Both parties are committed to reducing security vulnerabilities, and develop a safety net for the IoT ecosystem."

"As more and more network cameras are connected to Internet for cloud-related services," said Dr. Terence Liu, Vice president of Network Threat Defense Technology Group at Trend Micro, "securing the cameras against network security threats is getting vital. The cooperation with VIVOTEK demonstrates an effective and practical approach to IoT security by combining the companies' deep knowledge of cameras and network threats."

For more information about VIVOTEK and its comprehensive product line, please visitwww.vivotek.com.

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud environments, networks and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and control, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 6,000 employees in over 50 countries and the world's most advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro enables organizations to secure their journey to the cloud. For more information, visitwww.trendmicro.com.

About VIVOTEK

VIVOTEK Inc. (TAIEX: 3454) was founded in Taiwan in 2000. The Company markets VIVOTEK solutions worldwide, and has become a leading brand in the global IP surveillance industry. Its comprehensive solutions include network cameras, video servers, network video recorders, PoE solutions, and video management software. Through the growing proliferation of IoT, VIVOTEK aspires to become the Eye in IoT by drawing on its expansive technological capabilities in image and audio. The Company has established offices and subsidiaries in the United States (California), Europe (Netherlands), India (Delhi), Middle East (Dubai), Latin America (Mexico), and Japan (Tokyo) in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively. To create a sound industrial ecosystem, VIVOTEK has expanded strategic alliances with leading international software and hardware partners and works with over 183 authorized distributors across 116 countries. For more information, please visitwww.vivotek.com.

Source: VIVOTEK INC.

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GrabPay launches next phase of growth with new Managing Director for GrabPay in Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines
 
Jan 09, 2018
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Ooi Huey Tyng adds more than 25 years of experience from senior payments roles in Southeast Asia incl. Visa, DBS, UOB, and Citi
Appointment comes as GrabPay successfully onboards 1,000 merchants in Singapore for 2017

Singapore, 8 January 2018 – Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, today announced it has appointed Ooi Huey Tyng as Managing Director, GrabPay Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines. Based in Singapore, Huey Tyng brings on board more than 25 years of experience in senior positions at global banks and leading payments providers. Following shortly after a number of GrabPay milestones to end 2017, this appointment underlines the scale of the payments platform’s ambitions coming into 2018.

Huey Tyng joins Grab from Visa, where she was the Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei. During her time, Huey Tyng drove the company’s innovation and digital roadmap as well as the strategic engagement of regional banks headquartered in Singapore. Prior to that, Huey Tyng held leadership roles at DBS, UOB, and Citi among others, where she was responsible for managing retail cards businesses, co-branding and rewards partnerships, as well as engagement with merchants. Huey Tyng also served as a representative to the MAS Payments Council and the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE).

“Huey Tyng brings deep leadership expertise from some of the region’s premier banks and payments providers. Her experience with our current and potential payments partners will be invaluable as GrabPay moves into its next phase of growth. Millions of people in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are still heavily dependent on cash. Huey Tyng’s skills in forging business partnerships across each country will enable us to bring more merchants and consumers into the cashless future faster,” said Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.

Commenting on her new role, Huey Tyng says, “It’s an exciting moment to join Grab. There are unique opportunities and challenges in the payment space for each country in Southeast Asia. For instance, even in highly-developed Singapore, more than 20,000 merchants remain primarily cash-based. With GrabPay, we can complement the work of our partners and offer millions of consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines the opportunity to go cashless.”

To close out 2017, GrabPay onboarded a total of 1,000 merchants in Singapore, reaching its target a mere two months after launching its in-store and in-restaurant payments service. For 2018, the payments platform will continue to focus on Singapore’s more than 20,000 local, cash-based merchants who will see the most immediate benefits from adopting cashless. In Malaysia, GrabPay was granted the e-money licence by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia’s central monetary authority. As a result, consumers in Malaysia will be able to pay with Grab in restaurants, shops and online, starting in the first half of 2018. End of December, Grab also moved beyond transport in the Philippines to launch its peer-to-peer (P2P) fund transfer feature. In the cash-heavy Philippines, this feature enables Grab consumers to send GrabPay Credits to one another in an instantaneous, simple and secure way.

As Grab plans to expand all payments services across SEA in 2018, these milestones continue to mark Grab’s transformation from Southeast Asia’s largest on-demand transportation platform to the region’s #1 consumer internet platform.

Today, the Grab platform facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily. To support the growth of the GrabPay platform, Grab also made a number of business announcements in 2017:

  • The appointment of Jason Thompson, a former Managing Director for EMEA and Asia at Euronet, to lead GrabPay as Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.
  • The acquisition of Kudo, one of Indonesia’s leading O2O (online to offline) ecommerce platforms, followed by a partnership with leading payments services PayTren to form Indonesia’s largest network of more than 3 million micro-entrepreneurs
  • The appointment of Vikas Agrawal as CTO of GrabPay and Ongki Kurniawan as Managing Director of GrabPay Indonesia
  • The launch of a revamped GrabRewards platform, one of Southeast Asia’s largest loyalty programmes with more than 160 Rewards partners

    SOURCE / Grab

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    AGC Bioscience, Biomeva, and CMC Biologics to provide services under the brand AGC Biologics
     
    Jan 08, 2018
    Category:

    BOTHELL, Washington and BERKLEY, California and COPENHAGEN, Denmark and HEIDELBERG, Germany and CHIBA, Japan and YOKOHAMA, Japan, Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- AGC Biologics, a convergence of Asahi Glass Company (AGC) Bioscience, Biomeva GmbH, and CMC Biologics, announced today that effective January 8, 2018, the company will be integrated and newly branded as AGC Biologics.

    AGC Biologics, a global leader in clinical and commercial manufacturing of therapeutic proteins, will offer the highest level of CDMO services to its clients from their state-of-the-art facilities in Seattle, WA and Berkeley, CA in the US; Copenhagen, Denmark; Heidelberg, Germany; Chiba, Japan; and Yokohama, Japan. The company will maintain and grow its global presence with microbial and mammalian capabilities, fulfilling early-phase through late-phase projects, both at small and large-scale.

    The newly branded AGC Biologics features a highly-collaborative global team, along with multifaceted experience in a wide range of molecule types, in-house analytical expertise, and an exceptional regulatory track record.

    This announcement accompanies the appointment of Dr. Gustavo Mahler as President and CEO of AGC Biologics. Dr. Mahler will be responsible for the strategic development and support of the company's future growth.

    Dr. Mahler brings more than 20 years of scientific and executive management experience. Since becoming President and CEO of CMC Biologics in 2015, he has successfully increased growth and profit, resulting in double-digit growth, and highlighting the company as one of the fastest growing CDMOs in the industry.

    "The emergence of AGC Biologics as a global CDMO powerhouse further accentuates the strong commitment of our organization to ensure we meet the demands of this fast-growing market, while providing our clients with unparalleled innovative solutions," said Mr. Hideyuki Kurata, Chairman & General Manager of AGC Lifescience General Division, AGC Chemicals, AGC Asahi Glass Company. "I'm incredibly pleased Dr. Mahler will continue to lead AGC Biologics. Under his leadership, I'm confident that we will achieve our goal of becoming the industry's leading CDMO."

    "I'm thrilled at this opportunity to continue to lead this great organization," said Dr. Gustavo Mahler, President and CEO of AGC Biologics. "With our proven track record, I believe that we will clearly pave the way to a successful future, providing our clients solutions to their greatest development and manufacturing challenges, and enabling the delivery of breakthrough treatments to patients across the globe."

    About AGC Biologics

    AGC Biologics is a leading global Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), with a strong commitment to deliver the highest standard of service to our clients and partners. AGC Biologics is the product of the convergence and integration of Asahi Glass Company (AGC) Bioscience, Biomeva GmbH, and CMC Biologics. The company currently employs more than 850 employees worldwide. Our extensive network spans three continents, with cGMP-compliant facilities in Seattle, WA; Berkeley, CA; Copenhagen, Denmark; Heidelberg, Germany; Yokohama, Japan; and Chiba, Japan.

    AGC Biologics offers deep industry expertise and unique customized services for the scale-up and cGMP manufacture of protein-based therapeutics; from pre-clinical to commercial production, for mammalian and microbial. Our integrated service offerings include cell line development, bioprocess development, formulation, analytical testing, antibody drug development and conjugation, cell banking and storage, and protein expression — including our proprietary CHEF1® Expression System for mammalian production.

    Further information can be found atwww.agcbio.com

    AGC Biologics Media Contact Information:
    Ms. Kim Yang
    Director, Global Marketing and Communications
    Email: kyang@agcbio.com
    Office: +1 425.415.5438

    Source: CMC Biologics

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    Novotech wins 2017 Asia Pacific Biotech CRO award
     
    Jan 08, 2018
    Category:

    SYDNEY, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading Asia Pacific CRO Novotech has won Asia Pacific Biotech CRO Company of The Year award in Frost & Sullivan's 2017 Best Practice Awards.

    "Over the past 20 years, Novotech has grown to become the leading contract research organisation (CRO) in Asia Pacific. Novotech has been very focussed on serving the biotech sector, which has allowed it to develop a unique niche in the global industry," said Frost & Sullivan Transformational Health Associate Director Ms Geeta Dhanoa. "Novotech, has succeeded across a diverse range of markets by having strong local leaders and tailoring its approach to address each country's unique clinical trial conditions. Novotech's flexible, customer-centric approach ensures its clients receive the best value from their investment; positioning the company for sustained growth in the region."

    Commenting on Novotech's win, Novotech Chief Executive Officer Dr John Moller said, "It is very satisfying to have won the award for this category. Over the last five years, Novotech has heavily invested in helping international biotech companies access the clinical trial benefits available in the Asia Pacific region."

    "Working with a regional CRO makes a lot of sense for biotech clients. We believe regional specialisation results in higher quality feasibilities, stronger local KOL and site relationships, and a more comprehensive understanding of local regulatory changes, ensuring time and money is not wasted. The pace of positive reform in our region is extraordinary with many governments working hard toreduce regulatory hurdles, decrease clinical trial approval timelines, and increase levels of government support," explained Dr Moller.

    With 13 offices in 11 countries throughout in the Asia Pacific, Novotech actively works with each country's regulatory authorities and clinical trial centres to improve approval processes and timelines. Novotech is committed in providing our clients with access to the untapped benefits available in the Asia Pacific region.

    As the leading Asia Pacific CRO, Novotech continues to grow in the region with the:

    Launch of a site monitoring (SMO) business to support clinical trial activity in South Korea and Taiwan
    Signing of MOUs with leading clinical trial networks in Korea with being negotiated throughout the region
    Assisting sites and regulatory authorities to streamline contracts and processes
    Launch of a central laboratory service in Australia
    For more information about the untapped clinical trial benefits available in Australia and Asia,
    Download free copies of the Frost & Sullivan white papers:

    'Asia: Preferred Destination for Clinical Trials'
    'Australia: Preferred Destination for Early Stage Research'
    Or feel free to contact us.

    About Novotech-www.novotech-cro.com
    Headquartered in Sydney, Novotech is internationally recognised as the leading regional full-service contract research organisation (CRO). With a focus on clinical monitoring, Novotech has been instrumental in the success of hundreds of Phase I - IV clinical trials in the Asia Pacific region.
    Novotech provides clinical development services across all clinical trial phases and therapeutic areas including: feasibility assessments; ethics committee and regulatory submissions, data management, statistical analysis, medical monitoring, safety services, central lab services, report write-up to ICH requirements, project and vendor management. Novotech's strong Asia Pacific presence included running clinical trials in all key regional markets. Novotech also has worldwide reach through the company's network of strategic partners.

    For RFP enquiries: Please fill out the form available atwww.novotech-cro.com/contact-us-0

    Source: Novotech

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    Automatic language interpretation technology to be piloted at Winter Olympics
     
    JCN Newswire
    Jan 08, 2018
    Category:

    The hands-free technology automatically translates between participants speaking different languages, allowing natural, uninterrupted conversations. It was adopted as the international standard in 2017.

    Daejeon, KOREA - (ACN Newswire) - The "Zero UI" automatic interpretation technology developed by Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) was approved as the international standard by the International Organization for Standardization in July 2017. ETRI, a Korean non-profit research organization, plans to test drive its language interpretation technology at the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

    Zero UI stands for "zero user interface". In the case of ETRI's automatic interpretation technology, it means that users do not touch their smartphones to begin translation services. Rather, they simply wear a Bluetooth headset and speak into the attached microphone. Their smartphones automatically detect the languages being spoken, then translate and transmit the conversation between participants.

    "This is significant in that the new technology brings us a step closer to genuinely lowering the language barrier in the era of globalization," said Sang-hun Kim, a project leader of ETRI.

    In recent years, automatic interpretation programs have increasingly been commercialized as performance improved thanks to deep-learning technology. However, most programs required users to touch their smartphone screen before speaking, with the results provided on the screen or through the speaker. This did not enable free conversations due to slow speed and intermittent interruption, preventing the service from being widely employed.

    The Zero UI interpreter technology allows users to look at the face of the person they are talking with and to have a natural conversation without looking at or manipulating their smartphones. Communication flows almost as quickly a normal conversation.

    To achieve this, ETRI employed two core technologies, which became adopted as the international standard (ISO/IEC 20382-2:2017). The "two-channel voice processing technology" separates the voice detecting channel and the voice input channel, while a "barge-in technology" enables voice recognition anytime even when in the middle of playing a synthesized voice.

    These new technologies are expected to have significant value at international events, such as the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. They are also expected to result in fewer interpretation errors, especially in noisy places because each speaker's voice directly goes into his or her own microphone.

    Standardizing these technologies is a promising sign that automatic interpretation could become widespread. ETRI plans to conduct additional research on users' habits and technical issues to ensure adaptation to diverse changes.

    For more information, please contact
    ETRI
    Dr. Sang-Hun Kim
    e-mail: ksh@etri.re.kr, phone: +82-42-860-5141

    About ETRI

    Established in 1976, ETRI is a non-profit Korean government-funded research organization that has been at the forefront of technological excellence for about 41 years. In the 1980s, ETRI developed TDX (Time Division Exchange) and 4M DRAM. In the 1990s, ETRI commercialized CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) for the first time in the world. In the 2000s, ETRI developed Terrestrial DMB, WiBro, and 4G LTE Advanced, which became the foundation of mobile communications. Recently, as a global ICT leader, ETRI has been advancing communication and convergence by developing SAN (Ship Area Network) technology, Genie Talk (world class portable automatic interpretation; Korean-English/Japanese/Chinese), and automated valet parking technology. As of 2017, ETRI has about 2,000 employees where about 1,800 of them are researchers. Homepage:https://www.etri.re.kr/eng/main/main.etri

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

     
     
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