Given its expertise in rapid diagnostics, the company’s capabilities were particularly relevant when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Dr. Chiu and his team quickly adapted Phase Scientific’s proprietary sample preparation technology for use in COVID-19 testing, a necessity at the time given the impact of economic lockdowns and strains on the healthcare system. People needed a fast and efficient way to test for COVID-19 at home or in other informal settings.
These conditions changed the landscape of diagnostics dramatically. Dr. Chiu explained that, “The demand for rapid testing capabilities skyrocketed. Our COVID-19 diagnostics were designed to reduce the time and costs associated with testing and ensure widespread access when it was needed most.”
To the GBA and beyond
A key part of Dr. Chiu’s decision to base Phase Scientific’s global operations in Hong Kong is its involvement in the GBA, seen as an ideal environment for biotech startups given its strong intellectual property protections and cross-border marketing channels. Not only do 80% of companies in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao believe the GBA will grow faster than the rest of China,1 the networking synergies across the GBA cities are conducive to biotech innovation.
For example, Phase Scientific can lean on Hong Kong’s well regarded healthcare system as well as its academic reputation in infectious diseases for research and product distribution. Then locate its production and testing facilities in the GBA cities across the border where there are cost advantages. Such optionality allows biotech startups to fulfil all their requirements in the most efficient way possible, which explains why 66% of healthcare companies in the GBA are planning to expand their operations in the region.2
It also reinforces why connectivity is a key feature of the GBA’s development and a priority for HSBC’s support of companies therein. Businesses like Phase Scientific need a reliable partner to ramp up operations in the region, access its unique range of resources and leverage its connections with markets abroad.