Keeping Asia Pacific in good health, Andy Siow, Director for APAC at Luye Pharma, discusses addressing the mental health crisis and what makes the company a partner of choice.
MIND OVER MATTER
“There is no health without mental health.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a global mental health crisis. According to the World Health Organisation, close to one billion people are living with a mental health disorder with one person dying by suicide every 40 seconds.
In recent times, this mental health epidemic has been exacerbated by COVID-19 with medical surveys revealing a direct link between the two, as 50 percent of those infected by the virus display at least moderate symptoms of major depression.
“Mental health is so, so important during COVID-19 and this has been proven in every single country,” continues Andy Siow, Regional Director of APAC at leading pharmaceutical company, Luye Pharma.
“These services need to be expanded and fully covered, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when so many people are losing their jobs, income, and even lives. This has created a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression among not only healthcare workers, but also just everyday people.”
Andy brings to Luye Pharma over 25 years’ experience working for various multinational corporations across Asia Pacific. Within this, he has experienced all the different sides of the healthcare pharmaceutical industry, from MNC manufacturers to distributors and medical centres. To name just a few, this has included roles such as Business Unit Director at Bayer, Executive Director at Beverly, Managing Director at Exeltis Malaysia and Singapore, Commex Director at AstraZeneca, and Senior Director at DKSH Vietnam.
“Since my time at university, I was certain that I would work in pharmaceuticals all my life. There have been so many unique opportunities presented to me over the past two decades,” he reflects.
Presiding over the APAC region of the company’s international footprint, the wider Luye Pharma group specialises in the R&D, manufacturing, and sale of innovative medications.
With dedicated R&D centres across China, the US and Europe, Luye Pharma has a number of new drugs and formulations in the central nervous system (CNS) and oncology therapeutic areas currently under study. In addition, Luye Pharma offers over 30 products covering CNS, oncology, cardiovascular, and other therapeutic areas, with business conducted in over 80 countries, including the major pharmaceutical markets of China, US, Europe and Japan, as well as the fastest growing emerging markets.
In a bid to further develop the company’s footprint outside China, Asia Pacific represents a dynamic area of growth for Luye Pharma. With businesses across 15 countries and offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, it is a number that is set to continue rising, as the company pursues active expansion.
The company is engaged in a host of activities, such as the Asia Pacific Psychiatry Symposium where Luye Pharma advocates for the progress of clinical diagnosis and treatment in the CNS field with industry-wide conferences. It is during these discussions that healthcare experts have analysed the bidirectional relationship between COVID-19 and mental disorders.
‘WE CARE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH’
Luye Pharma’s contribution in the Asia Pacific Psychiatry Symposium is directly linked to one of its most significant ongoing initiatives, ‘We Care About Mental Health’.
Launched in June 2020 in collaboration with its partners across the region, the programme aims to raise mental health awareness, supporting patients, physicians, and health systems in overcoming unmet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Across Asia Pacific, mental health cases and suicide cases are on the rise, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Major Depressive Disorder.
“We have been communicating with the public that sometimes it’s ok not to be ok – it’s perfectly ok to go see a doctor,” Andy explains.
Within this programme, a total of 32 educational activities have taken place since the initiative’s inception in June, through to November of the same year. The company is still engaged in continuing this initiative by collaborating with more partners in countries and regions across Asia Pacific.
“We have responded to the opportunity of serving more patients during the COVID-19 pandemic by running this series of activities with doctors across different countries. We have done this in Hong Kong of China, Korea, and recently in Malaysia, and just this morning we concluded another one internally as well,” he tells us.
In terms of treatment, key products within the Luye Pharma portfolio are Seroquel® (quetiapine fumarate, immediate release) and Seroquel XR® (extended-release formulation). These are atypical anti-psychotic (AAP) medicines with antidepressant properties. The main indications for Seroquel® and Seroquel XR® are the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Seroquel XR® is also approved in some markets for major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.
As a staple of Luye Pharma’s supply to the Asia Pacific market, throughout the past two years the company has been working tirelessly to overcome supply chain challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that there are enough quantities available for its patients.
A PARTNER OF CHOICE
Luye Pharma stands as a competitive choice for a regional partner, bolstered by decades of continuous presence and expertise in partner and alliance management to ensure delivery of maximum returns. In addition, Luye Pharma works with leading complementary healthcare and hospitals across the region.
The company has a dedicated local alliance management team, in order to make its partnerships truly effective. To date, this team has already been successful in cementing strong local partnerships in Taiwan of China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
“The right local partner can increase the value of the product by accessing more patients, as commercialisation experts in their local countries. Also, at Luye Pharma, our alliance team continuously supports the partners to achieve and are regularly involved in business meetings to strategise the best go-to-market tactical plans to ensure that together we deliver the set objectives and goals,” comments Andy.
“Alongside European and American companies, there are also many Chinese pharmaceutical companies now who would like to work outside of China and are looking for competence partners in the Asia Pacific region.
“Being one of the most established Chinese pharmaceutical companies in the APAC region, with the best knowledge in go-to-market strategy, we have the advantages and the competency to be considered the right choice for all these companies – whether it’s in terms of licencing, or agencies’ model of partnership.
“Our highly engaged full-service team covering sales and marketing, pharmacovigilance, business development, regulatory functions are committed to bringing more access of medicines to more people in the world’s fastest growing countries,” Andy states.
With its rich pipelines in CNS and Oncology, and the vigorous business development activities in the region, Luye Pharma welcome all pharmaceutical companies for potential business collaboration and to improve patient’s access to medicines in the APAC region.