Malaysia’s Record-Breaking Success in Sponsored Clinical Research

PUTRAJAYA, 22 APRIL 2024 – Malaysia has achieved yet another remarkable milestone in sponsored clinical research, surpassing its target and previous years’ accomplishments, as highlighted in Clinical Research Malaysia’s (CRM) Annual Report 2023. This achievement was unveiled during the CRM Annual Report launch by YB Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Minister of Health Malaysia located at the Headquarters of Ministry of Health (MOH) in Putrajaya. 

The annual report outlined 276 newly sponsored clinical research studies in the country, representing the highest number recorded since the organization’s establishment in 2012. In 2023, Malaysia rose to second place within the Southeast Asia region in terms of the number of global industry-sponsored studies. These record-breaking figures are also mirrored in the Gross National Income, contributing to a cumulative value of RM1.16 billion generated from sponsored research since 2012. 

Malaysia’s early phase research reported significant breakthroughs, with both First-in-Human (FIH) accredited centres in Malaysia, Ampang Hospital having initiated its first First-In-Patient study last November 2023, and Sarawak General Hospital having received international recognition for successfully conducting a global FIH study. Following these accomplishments, Malaysia is in the radar of global top biopharmaceuticals, with two new FIH clinical trial slated to initiate by mid-2024 at Sarawak General Hospital in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (sponsored by Roche Pharmaceuticals) and solid tumour (sponsored by AstraZeneca) respectively. 

“Following our track record in trial conduct, the pharmaceutical industry is now not only viewing Malaysia as a trial location, but also as a regional base for clinical research operations. I am confident that the positioning of these hubs will greatly benefit the nation’s clinical research workforce and I look forward to hearing more borne from our successful industrial collaborations.” said Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Minister of Health Malaysia. 

Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) also entered a landmark collaboration earlier today, following the Annual Report launch. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr Akhmal Yusof, Chief Executive Officer of CRM, and Professor Juliana Chan, Director of the Clinical Research Management Officer of CUHK, and was witnessed by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. This MoU underscores joint efforts in the areas of clinical, academic, and research opportunities at both organizations as it further consolidates the efforts led to upskilling the researchers as well as in driving knowledge exchange in clinical research. Both CRM and CUHK are dedicated to promoting and facilitating collaboration, innovation, and clinical research between both nations.