Malaysia Partners With Japan’s Top Oncology Hospital


Clinical Research Malaysia inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Cancer Center Hospital to develop Malaysia’s capabilities and capacities in oncology clinical research. As one of the partners in Asia for the ATLAS (Asian clinical TriaLs network for cAncerS) project established by the National Cancer Center Japan (NCCJ), Malaysia will benefit from early phase oncology drug development, cancer genomic medicine advancement and drug access and development.

The National Cancer Center Hospital (NCCH) that will be leading this project, is the region’s leading cancer hospital located in Tokyo and was recently rated Top 20 among ‘World’s Best Specialized Hospitals 2021 in Oncology’ by Newsweek. It was designated an AMED (Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development) Global Clinical Trial Core Center in 2016 and has since scaled up its international clinical trials activities. 

Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) as a site management organization under the Malaysia Ministry of Health has vast experience in managing more than 1400 international multicentre clinical trials including oncology since 2012. Malaysia has a healthy number of clinical research sites, experienced investigators with a matured clinical research ecosystem and competitive start-up timeline in the region.

The MoU with NCCH spells out collaboration in the areas of cancer research that includes infrastructure development, training opportunities in clinical research, participation in rare cancer clinical trial, networking opportunities as well as visits/attachments by research experts from both countries. This will further pave the way for better Malaysia-Japan collaborations in advancing drug development.

“Upon launching the ATLAS project for establishing a clinical research network with our Asian partners, CRM stood out as the experienced and reliable partner to the project, as well as being the most forthcoming in collaborating with us. Through implementing this ambitious project, we wish to establish a sustainable clinical trial network, share capacity building opportunities, and facilitate early drug development. Through clinical trials in Asia, we can bring about better cancer treatments, eventually delivering to cancer patients in Asia,” said Dr. Kazuaki Shimada, Director of the NCCH.

The MoU signing ceremony between both parties took place on a live virtual platform and was signed by both Dr. Shimada and the CEO of CRM, Dr. Akhmal Yusof. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by the Deputy Director General of Health (Research & Technical Support), Dr Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim, on behalf of the Health Minister of Malaysia and Dr Teiji Takei, Assistant Minister for Global Health and Welfare from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.

“As a result of our experts’ visit exchanges these past two years, we are fortunate that CRM is committing to render full support for quality clinical trials. Today, by concluding a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with Clinical Research Malaysia, we mark a milestone in establishing our relationship,” Dr Hitoshi Nakagama, President of National Cancer Center Japan quoted.

“Malaysia welcomes the Japanese Government and National Cancer Center Hospital initiatives to reinforce clinical trials infrastructure in Malaysia through the launching of the ATLAS project. The Ministry of Health through CRM will ensure the success of this project through delivery of quality clinical trials in Malaysia. We also acknowledge the immense effort that was put in place to materialize the Japanese Government’s vision in promoting Universal Health Coverage in this region,” said Dr Hishamshah.

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