School of Biomedical Sciences
The Chinese University of Hong Kong 香港中文大學

The Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of the Hong Kong government recently announced the results of applications for the inaugural Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme (RAISe+ Scheme) and held a signing ceremony. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s research teams have been granted funding for seven projects, the highest number of awards among local institutions.

One of the projects, titled “Development of Personalized Advanced Therapeutic Products (ATPs) – Engineered Osteochondral Tissue (eOCT) for cartilage regeneration therapy” is led by Prof. Barbara P. Chan, Au Chik Ko and Au Leung Shook Yin Professor of Biomedical Engineering, the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBS). Prof. Chan’s team has developed a novel autologous mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based engineered osteochondral tissue (eOCT) with proper structural organization mimicking that of the native joint tissues. Working with orthopaedic surgeons, the team has also developed minimal invasive arthroscopic implantation of eOCT. They aim to develop new eOCT series for osteoarthritis; transfer the validated GMP manufacturing process back to Hong Kong; conduct phase II clinical trial on eOCT efficacy; and launch the eOCT treatment for individual patients.

Launched in October 2023, RAISe+ Scheme aims to unleash the potential of local universities in transforming and commercialising R&D outcomes, and facilitate collaboration among the Government, industry, university and research sectors. The RAISe+ Scheme will fund, on a matching basis, research teams in eight universities funded by the University Grants Committee that have the potential to become successful start-ups. Up to HK$100 million in funding support will be provided to each project that is approved.

The related coverage by the Communications and Public Relations Office and can be viewed HERE.

Prof. Sham Mai-har, CUHK’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) (4th from left) and Prof. Barbara P. Chan (1st from left) pictured with the representatives of the awarded research teams