Business plan launched for ASEAN network for drugs and diagnostics

TDR news item
3 June 2013

A new regional network composed of ASEAN member countries is launching a business plan for health products research and development at a stakeholders meeting on 5 June 2013 in the Philippines. This is an important step for the ASEAN Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines and Traditional Medicines Innovation (ASEAN-NDI) , which was established to support R&D innovation to improve access to drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, medical devices and traditional medicine products that address priority public health problems in the region.

The business plan includes the following:

  • The R&D landscape in ASEAN countries, significant contributors to the burden of disease in the region and a plan of action on science and technology for development;
  • a business model (vision/mission, economies of scale and scope, key stakeholders, knowledge network and innovation-driven communities of practice);
  • regional innovation and science and technology priorities;
  • identified country commitments and collaboration (political, human resources, capital, infrastructure and funding for R&D);
  • governance and organizational structure; and
  • an ASEAN NDI Innovation Fund for financial sustainability
Drug discovery in a Thailand laboratory

Representatives from the countries’ departments of science and technology, health, and foreign affairs, as well as from the World Health Organization, are meeting to discuss the business plan, and how to move forward to strengthen ties among the countries and increase innovation.

TDR Director John Reeder says, “This has never been more important than now, when drugs, diagnostics and vaccines are either lacking for many endemic conditions or, when available, are often ineffective or too expensive. This is not an easy task and innovation does not always occur quickly, but it can be achieved with these kinds of regional commitments.”

This is the second network of its kind initiated by TDR to help increase regional and intra-country collaborations – the first was the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) which was launched in 2008.

ASEAN-NDI was established in 2009. Its members come from the ten countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations –Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, with the secretariat based in the Philippines.

For more information, please contact

Dr Bernadette Ramirez