Resigned lifetime professor to make drugs more affordable
Professor Wang Yueju [Photo: China Plus]
A Chinese professor has given up his lifetime tenure at a US college to work on cheaper medicine for treating major diseases.
His team's new bioreactor technology is expected to greatly lower the prices of protein drugs.
CRI's Guan Chao has more.
In Beijing's Hui Long Sen Technology Park, Professor Wang Yueju introduces his project in his office.
The 45-year-old recently came back from US to start his own business.
After a month, he and his team managed to upgrade a new model of bioreactor that allows them to produce protein drugs from lettuce.
As Wang explained, protein drug can be effective against tumor and virus infections but its high cost has been long been a burden for many patients.
"Our goal is to make the drugs affordable to the majority. These drugs are too expensive due to a long-time international monopoly. Our technology will help break the situation and reduce burden."
According to Wang Yueju, their plant bioreactor is not only safe and green but also productive. It takes only four to seven days to finish a production cycle.
Lettuce exhibits green fluorescence. [Photo: China Plus]
Wang started to study Plant Molecular Biology in the US in 1998. When he resigned he had already been granted life tenure at Northeastern State University.
His company's COO Li Wen describes Wang's current life.
"Professor Wang came back to China on July 8 and immediately started his research in the lab until three in the morning. The lab was newly furnished and hadn't been installed with air conditioners. He almost had a heatstroke there."
Chen Shuyuan, a co-founder of the business said their founding purpose gives him enthusiasm.
"We may help patients use drugs they couldn't afford before. I believe what we do holds great social and market value. It's worth striving for. As founders we need to work even harder. I've come to the company for some 40 days and took only one day of rest."
Researchers of Wang Yueju's company run experiments on lettuce. [Photo: China Plus]
In just one month, Wang Yueju's company has already filed 11 patents and established several partnerships.
They are also planning research in other areas such as industrial materials, blood products, and skin care.
"I wish to form a bio-technology park after five years and compete on international arena. I've come back for a month and started to wonder why I hadn't come home earlier. China is making progress every day. I hope more students who study abroad will come back to witness every step of our country."
For CRI, I'm Guan Chao.