The proposal to establish regional innovation network in the ASEAN territory is an initiative of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). The network named as the ASEAN Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines and Traditional Medicines Innovation (ASEAN-NDI) was proposed by the Philippines which was subsequently endorsed by the ASEAN SubCommittee on Biotechnology to the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology which approved it and adopted it as an ASEAN initiative.
Local coordinators from Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam have started the mapping process to assess the product R&D landscape for infectious tropical diseases in the ASEAN region. While the focus is on infectious tropical diseases, the mapping project aims to establish the overall research capacity of ASEAN countries in diagnostics, drugs, traditional medicine, and vaccine innovation and their ability to respond to local public health needs.
Regional networks in China and India are also being established. While still in its early stages, these regions are undergoing independent R&D mapping activities. These countries will come together at a later stage to set the framework for the implementation of the larger regional innovation network for Asia. These regional networks form the core of activities that belong in the TDR Business Line on Innovation for Product Development in Disease-Endemic Countries (BL4), envisioned to foster the discovery and development of novel drugs, diagnostic tests and other products.
The following are potential areas of collaboration of ASEAN-NDI with partner institutions, researchers, agencies, and other health R&D innovation networks.
Download the ASEAN-NDI brochure here