Cytiva launches BioChallenge in Southeast Asia to support biotech startup development

PRNewswire September 8, 2022
  • Cytiva’s BioChallenge launches in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to accelerate the growth of promising emerging biotechs
  • BioChallenge facilitates access to Cytiva’s services and expertise to scale up efficiently, mitigate risks and reduce time to go to market
  • Application period is open between 1 September and 31 December 2022

SINGAPORE, Sept. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Cytiva, a global life sciences leader, has launched its BioChallenge competition in Southeast Asia to empower small to medium sized biotech companies in the fields of cell engineering, process development, as well as isolation and purification. Winners of the BioChallenge will be awarded up to SG$200 000 in FastTrakTM services so that they can scale up efficiently, mitigate risks, and reduce time to go to market.

Since its introduction in 2018, Cytiva’s BioChallenge has supported research, bioprocessing development and commercialization of over 130 projects globally in the form of four million USD worth of products and services. In addition to BioChallenge, Cytiva supports the biotech community in Southeast Asia through the Cytiva Experience Learning Lab (CELL), which was established in Singapore in 2021. CELL has to date conducted more than 70 training sessions with tertiary academic and research institutes on the latest bioprocessing and production techniques for the development of advanced therapeutics.

Firman Ghouze, Marketing Director, Asia Pacific at Cytiva says “According to the FDA[1], 63% of approved biologics are driven by small and medium sized companies – signaling that smaller ventures are driving innovation in biologics. Cytiva’s BioChallenge recognizes the talent, resource and scalability constraints faced by the industry, particularly by early-stage biotechs or translational research organizations. By launching the BioChallenge in Southeast Asia, we hope to foster a culture of cooperation and open innovation with governments, think tanks and institutions to address these challenges and empower promising biotech startups with the speed and flexibility to bring highly advanced innovations from molecule to market.”

According to the 2021 Global Biopharma Resilience Index[2], a survey of 1165 biopharma executives and healthcare policymakers across 20 countries by Cytiva and Financial Times’ research arm Longitude, manufacturing agility and R&D collaboration were key challenges faced by startups in the biopharma industry. The Index revealed that startups do not have the same access to talent and resources as big biopharma companies to scale up from discovery. The Index findings also lay a clear roadmap for biopharma firms that need to make their manufacturing operations more agile. They must think more strategically about the role of rapidly scalable operations that reduce upfront costs and be bolder with adopting technology early in the process.[3]

Applications are open now until 31 December 2022 (1700hrs SGT). For more information, including applicable terms and conditions of the BioChallenge, please visit


1 FDA New Drug Therapy Approvals 2020, published January 2021

2 How can government policy and regulation empower biopharma? Published 2021

3 Financial Times, Shifting biopharma’s manufacturing into the fast lane, Published March 2021

About Cytiva BioChallenge

The BioChallenge Competition is one of Cytiva’s initiatives to foster a culture of cooperation and open innovation with governments, think tanks and institutions to fuel promising biotech startups to scale up efficiently, mitigate risks and reduce time to go to market.  It entails a two-stage competition, open to all small and medium sized biotechs in Southeast Asia that run pre-clinical or clinical stage projects. Applicants running projects around developing novel vector and/or payload designs, novel therapeutics, novel vaccines or antibody-based molecules are welcome to apply. They will be assessed based on five criteria which include project rationale, experimental outline and future business impact. Only five candidates will be shortlisted in the finals. Past winners of the competition include biotechs such as VivaZome, Medipost and Genexine.

Applications are open from 1 September 2022 to 31 December 2022. For more information, including applicable terms and conditions of the BioChallenge, please visit

About Cytiva

Cytiva is a global life sciences leader that works with academic and translational researchers, developers and manufacturers of biotherapeutics, cell and gene therapies, and new technologies such as mRNA, to enable the delivery of transformative medicines. Cytiva is a trusted expert with nearly 10 000 associates in 40 countries dedicated to customers’ speed, flexibility, capacity and efficiency in drug discovery, research, and manufacturing.


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