News Article | April 17, 2017
Unactivated alkanes are difficult to functionalize, and most catalysts that derivatize them by opening hydrocarbon C–H bonds are based on precious transition metals. Researchers have now developed a class of intermolecular C–H arylation reactions that use catalysts made from more-abundant materials: silicon and boron. The reaction adds aryl groups to C–H bonds of simple hydrocarbons, including to the notoriously inert bonds in methane, at mild temperatures (Science 2017, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7975). “Alkanes are bulk components of gasoline and as such are supercheap commodities, which, if converted to functionalized compounds, would become much more valuable,” comments Jay Siegel of Tianjin University, who developed a related intramolecular reaction but was not involved in the new study. “This is an area rich in prospects, with a bright future for chemical synthetic methods development.” Hosea M. Nelson and coworkers at the University of California, Los Angeles, prepare the new organosilicon catalyst from an organosilane and a weakly coordinating carborane anion. The catalyst defluorinates an aryl fluoride starting material, likely generating an aryl cation intermediate that inserts electrophilically into a C–H bond of an alkane substrate to yield an arylated alkane. A key trimethylsilyl group on the aryl fluoride aids fluoride abstraction, helps the cation react quickly, and eases catalyst regeneration. At press time, Nelson was scheduled to discuss the findings this week in a Division of Organic Chemistry presentation at the ACS national meeting in San Francisco. “Electrophilic reactions with methane are exceptionally rare, and the C–H functionalization of methane reveals the extraordinary reactivity of this system,” says Douglas Klumpp of Northern Illinois University, an expert on highly reactive electrophilic intermediates. The clever use of a trimethylsilyl group, he says, enabled the researchers “to tame a lion,” the aryl cation intermediate, “and that lion is able to do some very nice tricks.” However, Klumpp notes that one limitation of the chemistry is that “the aryl fluoride starting materials are expensive or difficult to obtain.” “The chemistry isn’t ready for prime-time applications,” Nelson says. “It’s a new strategy that will hopefully fuel further study. We need to find ways to improve the reaction’s efficiency, selectivity, and substrate scope. We have filed a provisional patent and look forward to working with the chemical industry to develop practical applications.”
News Article | April 17, 2017
George A. Olah, the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Southern California and the recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has died. He was 89. Olah was a towering figure, physically and scientifically, who earned international chemistry fame 40 years ago for his novel use of “magic acid,” a concoction of antimony pentafluoride and fluorosulfonic acid that is billions of times as strong as . . .
News Article | April 27, 2017
The method circumvents the need for dry conditions, and purification steps, which saves time and gives PET radiotracers in very high yields. Fluorine-18, the most commonly used radioisotope in PET imaging, must be attached to vectors in order to diagnose disease. The best example is where fluorine-18 is attached to glucose in order to make [18F]FDG for cancer imaging. This new method has the potential to improve production of PET radiotracers like FDG, but also facilitate development of new radiotracers by allowing previously challenging vectors to be radiolabelled in high yields under mild conditions. Because a radiotracer decays, radio-synthesis needs to be performed quickly, efficiently and in high yield, so there is enough radiotracer to scan all patients at a PET medical centre. "Improving methods for incorporation of fluorine-18 has been a longstanding challenge for the radiotracer community. This research is the first example of a rhenium promoted radio-fluorination, an unprecedented, exciting discovery in the radiochemistry field," said senior author Dr Benjamin Fraser, Radiotracer Method and Organic Chemistry Task leader at ANSTO. Fraser explained that a rhenium complex was selected because of its potential for development as a dual modality PET/optical imaging agent. PET allows diagnosis of tumour location and then optical luminescence guides surgical removal of the tumour. "The choice of rhenium proved fortuitous for the incorporation of F-18 and was good example of 'chance favouring the prepared mind' as the result was not predicted but very significant. It's also important that the reaction can be done in water, as this simplifies subsequent formulation of the radiotracer in saline for injection into a patient in a clinical setting," said Fraser. The study involved the use of microfluidic technologies that had several advantages for the investigation. Dr Giancarlo Pascali, co-senior investigator on the project who is based at the Camperdown cyclotron facility, supervised the radiochemistry work under microfluidic radiolabelling conditions. "Microfluidic technologies allowed us to optimise all the reaction parameters very quickly, such as temperature, time, solvent and additives. We can optimise a given radiolabelling reaction in only three days, which under normal conditions would take one month to complete. Another benefit of microfluidics is that we work with only very small amounts of radioactivity," said Fraser. Fraser points out that at this stage the radiotracer has not been tested for use with PET. "The next step is working on conjugating the tracer to new biological vectors, but also applying the new rhenium method to established radiotracers. We can then also investigate its potential use as a dual modality probe." Explore further: A faster track to the tools that track disease More information: Mitchell A. Klenner et al. A Fluorine-18 Radiolabeling Method Enabled by Rhenium(I) Complexation Circumvents the Requirement of Anhydrous Conditions, Chemistry - A European Journal (2017). DOI: 10.1002/chem.201700440
News Article | April 17, 2017
Correlation between cryo-transmission electron microscope (TEM) images and the crystal structure. a) TEM image showing three colliding clusters. The scale bar is 10 nm. b) Relative positions of molecules derived from the X-ray diffraction crystal structure are overlaid (brown) on the TEM image. A twinning plane is shown (green line) Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science Crystallization is a very basic chemical process: School children can witness it with their own eyes. But scientists had not, until now, been able to observe this process on the molecular level - that is, the instant in which molecules overcome their tendencies to float individually in a liquid solution and take their place in the rigid lattice of a solid crystal structure. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have, for the first time, directly observed the process of crystallization on the molecular level, validating some recent theories about crystallization, as well as showing that if one knows how the crystal starts growing, one can predict the end structure. The research took place in the lab of Prof. Ronny Neumann of the Weizmann Institute's Organic Chemistry Department. Neumann explains that in order to bond to one another, the molecules must overcome an energy barrier: "The prevalent theory had been that chance contacts between molecules leads to bonding, eventually creating small clusters that become nuclei for larger crystals to grow. But the molecules, which move randomly in solution, must be aligned properly to crystalize. In recent years researchers have begun to think that this process might present too high an energy barrier." Theories proposed in the past few decades suggest that if the molecules were to congregate together in a so-called dense phase, in which they aggregate into a sardine-like state - close together but unorganized - and then crystallize from this state, the energy barrier would be lower.To test the theories, Neumann and PhD student Roy Schreiber created large, rigid molecules and froze them in place in solution. They then placed the frozen solution under an electron microscope beam that warmed up the mixture just enough to allow some movement, and thus interactions between the molecules. Adjusting the makeup of the solution by adding different ions enabled the scientists to produce crystallization with and without dense phases; for the first time, aided by Drs. Lothar Houben and Sharon Wolf of the Electron Microscopy Unit, they were able to observe dense phases forming and subsequently transforming into crystal nuclei. While both states yielded crystals, the experimental results showed that when dense phases form, the energy barrier to formation of an orderly, crystalline arrangement of molecules is, as the theory predicted, lower. The scientists also found that the growth arising from dense phases results in larger, more stable crystal nuclei. In addition they discovered that the arrangement of molecules in fully grown crystals, which they determined by X-ray crystallography with the aid of Dr. Gregory Leitus of Chemical Research Support, was in good agreement with that in the small clusters of just a few molecules in the original nuclei. "This means that the forces and factors that determine the process are constant throughout the growth of the crystal," says Neumann. "We have really observed an elementary event in the world of chemistry," says Neumann. "The findings are also leading us into new inquiries in this area, looking at the effects and significance of dense-phases on chemical reactivity." More information: Roy E. Schreiber et al. Real-time molecular scale observation of crystal formation, Nature Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2675
News Article | March 1, 2017
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / March 1, 2017 / LifeSci Capital, LLC, a research-driven investment bank with deep domain expertise in the life sciences sector, today announced that it has initiated coverage of AzurRx BioPharma (NasdaqCM: AZRX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of oral recombinant products to address gastrointestinal diseases and microbiome related conditions. The Company's lead candidate, MS1819, is a recombinant yeast lipase that is being developed for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). AzurRx has reported positive data from a Phase Ib study that tested the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of MS1819. The randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial enrolled 12 patients with EPI due to CP or pancreatectomy. The trial met its primary endpoint of improvement in steatorrhea. Key secondary endpoints that were also met. Regarding safety, there were no serious adverse events (AEs) and no unexpected serious adverse reactions. MS1819 is currently in a Phase IIa study in patients with EPI caused by CP. Topline results from the trial are expected in the first half of 2017. A Phase IIb crossover trial is expected to begin in the first half of 2017. AzurRx is also developing AZ1101, an oral, non-absorbable, synthetic ß-lactamase. This unique candidate is being developed for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections and antibiotic-induced diarrhea in patients being treated with beta-lactam antibiotics. The program is currently in preclinical stages, and the Company intends to launch clinical trials in 2017. In a 47 page Initiation Report, LifeSci Capital explains the preclinical and clinical data supporting MS1819 as a treatment for EPI. We also outline the market opportunity and discuss the landscape of approved agents and those in development. Dr. Isaacson's full Initiation Report, including important disclosures, is available to download, at no cost, at the LifeSci Capital website, www.lifescicapital.com/equity-research/. In addition to this Initiation Report, LifeSci Capital intends to provide ongoing coverage and event-based research updates on AzurRx BioPharma as developments occur. The LifeSci Capital research team is led by Dr. Jerry Isaacson, an industry veteran with broad experience in biotechnology, having worked in both public and private biotech companies in areas ranging from medicinal chemistry and analytical chemistry to patents and investor/public relations. Dr. Isaacson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Harvard University and received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California in San Diego. LifeSci Capital (Member: FINRA/SIPC) is a research-driven investment bank with deep domain expertise in the life sciences. Our service model as a boutique investment bank is unique in that we exclusively serve emerging life science companies that discover, develop, and commercialize innovative products. We view our clients as our partners, and we work closely with them to establish and execute their capital markets strategies. Our broadly-distributed equity research product is differentiated and provides a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and the opportunities they are addressing. To learn more about LifeSci Capital, visit the company's website, www.lifescicapital.com.
News Article | March 2, 2017
NDA Partners Chairman Carl Peck, MD, announced today that Greg Coulter, PhD, a pharmaceutical development executive with more than twenty years of experience in GLP, GMP, and GCP regulated drug development and manufacturing has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. He has extensive experience in drug substance characterization, drug product formulation, manufacturing scale-up, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, and CMC regulatory writing, and is a specialist in development of liquid and solid oral formulations, liquid and lyophilized injectable formulations, and clinical supplies manufacturing. During his professional career, Dr. Coulter has provided operational and regulatory CMC guidance for virtual, start-up, development stage, and commercial organizations. Dr. Coulter was formerly the Director of Formulations and Analytical Services at SNBL USA, Ltd.; Manager, cGMP Manufacturing at Cell Therapeutics, Inc.; Senior Process Chemist at Synthetech Inc.; and President of CTM Solutions, LLC. He is an experienced program manager and has planned and led the construction, equipping, hiring, and expansion of two GLP-compliant laboratories for a global CRO. “Dr. Coulter’s extensive experience in drug product formulation, process development, scale-up, and manufacturing, along with his expertise in clinical packaging, labeling, and distribution logistics for global clinical trials, make him an excellent addition to our Expert Consultant team,” said Dr. David Savello, Partner and Manager, Product Quality & CMC Practice. “We are pleased to welcome him to NDA Partners and introduce him to our clients.” Dr. Coulter earned his PhD in Biological Chemistry and MSc in Organic Chemistry from University of Guelph, Canada, and his BSc, Hon. in Biochemistry from Bishop’s University, Canada. About NDA Partners NDA Partners is a strategy consulting firm specializing in expert product development and regulatory advice to the medical products industry and associated service industries such as law firms, investment funds and government research agencies. The highly experienced Principals and Premier Experts of NDA Partners include three former FDA Center Directors; the former Chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK; an international team of more than 100 former pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agency senior executives; and an extensive roster of highly proficient experts in specialized areas including nonclinical development, toxicology, pharmacokinetics, CMC, medical device design control and quality systems, clinical development, regulatory submissions, and development program management. Services include product development and regulatory strategy, expert consulting, high-impact project teams, and virtual product development teams.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Developing a Treatment for Select Cardiopulmonary Diseases using INOpulse, a Portable Drug/Device Combination Delivering Pulse Nitric Oxide; Report Available here: http://www.lifescicapital.com/equity-research/bellerophon/ NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / February 23, 2017 / LifeSci Capital, LLC, a research-driven investment bank with deep domain expertise in the life sciences sector, today announced that it has initiated coverage of Bellerophon (NASDAQ: BLPH), a biotherapeutics company focused on the development of inhaled nitric oxide (NO) therapy for patients with cardiopulmonary diseases. The company is developing a portable drug/device called INOpulse to deliver pulsed pharmaceutical grade NO to vasodilate the pulmonary artery. The NO is delivered through a patented triple lumen cannula that is compatible with oxygen therapy. The Company completed a randomized Phase II study to evaluate the INOpulse in PAH patients. The study found a statistically significant increase in 6 minute walk distance (6MWD) in patients receiving a high dose of NO and who were also on long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT). In addition to an increase in 6MWD within this patient population, there was a significant increase in 6MD in INOpulse and LTOT treated patients that used the therapy for more than 12 hours per day. The trial identified a target dose for INOpulse and patient population most likely to benefit from therapy. INOpulse is being evaluated in the first of two Phase III trials to evaluate the benefit of INOpulse in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients on long term oxygen therapy (LTOT), and expects to report interim results in late 2017. The second study employs an innovative withdrawal design that will allow Bellerophon to reach an NDA, and potential marketing approval for INOpulse, two years earlier than expected and with dramatically reduced costs. Results for this trial are expected in the first half of 2018. In addition to its evaluation of INOpulse for PAH, Bellerophon is clinically evaluating INOpulse for pulmonary hypertension-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PH-COPD) and pulmonary hypertension- associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (PH-IPF), both are indications with no approved therapies. Bellerophon is separately evaluating the efficacy of INOpulse in a Phase II study for PH-COPD and a Phase II patients for PH-IFP in a Phase II study and expects topline data during the first half of 2017. In a 42 page Initiation Report LifeSci Capital explains the preclinical and clinical data supporting INOpulse in PAH, PH-COPD, and PH-IPF. We outline the market opportunity for each indication and discuss the landscape of approved agents and those in development. Dr. Isaacson's full Initiation Report, including important disclosures, is available to download at no cost at the LifeSci Capital website, www.lifescicapital.com/equity-research/. In addition to this Initiation Report, LifeSci Capital intends to provide ongoing coverage and event-based research updates on BioInvent as developments occur. The LifeSci Capital research team is led by Dr. Jerry Isaacson, an industry veteran with broad experience in biotechnology, having worked in both public and private biotech companies in areas ranging from medicinal chemistry and analytical chemistry to patents and investor/public relations. Dr. Isaacson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Harvard University and received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California in San Diego. LifeSci Capital (Member: FINRA/SIPC) is a research-driven investment bank with deep domain expertise in the life sciences. Our service model as a boutique investment bank is unique in that we exclusively serve emerging life science companies that discover, develop, and commercialize innovative products. We view our clients as our partners, and we work closely with them to establish and execute their capital markets strategies. Our broadly-distributed equity research product is differentiated and provides a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and the opportunities they are addressing. To learn more about LifeSci Capital, visit the company's website, www.lifescicapital.com.
News Article | February 21, 2017
Cancer diagnostics workflow solution provider Inspirata, Inc., is pleased to announce that Dr. Trevor Heritage has joined its executive team to lead the development and commercialization of its Cancer Information Data Trust (CIDT), a revolutionary system designed to provide insights to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The CIDT addresses the need for curated and structured data among a wide range of users, including educators, physicians, patients, administrators, and academic and pharmaceutical researchers. Most recently Dr. Heritage has been focused on the application of genomics and next-generation sequencing in the clinical environment, building and commercializing products including Appistry’s CloudDx and GenomePilot with the specific goal of making genomics more approachable and actionable by clinicians and patients. In 2005, Dr. Heritage was awarded the St. Louis Business Journal “40 Under 40” Business Award. He is a leading author on more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and he has a U.S. patent. He has previously served as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals, and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for IBC Life Sciences and the University of the Indiana School of Informatics. He holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry and graduated with Honors in Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of Reading, England. “In his new role at Inspirata, Dr. Heritage will be focused on the development, delivery and commercial success of our innovative big data products for cancer,” says Inspirata CEO Satish Sanan. “This includes translational science, therapeutic discovery and clinical programs that offer the potential to improve the way in which cancer is diagnosed and treated.” “Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to engage with the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemicals research organizations, as well as leading academic medical centers and healthcare organizations all over the world,” says Dr. Heritage. “My new role at Inspirata affords me the opportunity to bring this experience to bear on delivering the best possible diagnostic decision support, treatment options, prognostic information and population health metrics to varied users of the CIDT.” About Inspirata, Inc. Inspirata®, Inc. offers the most comprehensive cancer diagnostics workflow solution available for precision diagnosis today. The solution, which employs a unique “solution-as-a-service” business and delivery model, accelerates anatomic and molecular pathology workflows and facilitates whole slide imaging and image analytics, prognostic and predictive assays, remote consultations and tumor boards. This comprehensive solution includes an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to help to solve interoperability issues and a Natural Language Processing Engine (NLP) for structuring data. This big data initiative will provide a wide range of users, including educators, physicians, patients, administrators, researchers and pharma, with curated and structured data related to diagnostic decision support, treatment options, prognostic information and population health metrics to help improve outcomes for cancer patients. For more information, please visit http://www.inspirata.com or contact info(at)inspirata(dot)com.
News Article | February 28, 2017
Walking, running, sprinting -- every movement of the foot stretches the Achilles' tendon. When jumping, the loads can approach ten times the body weight. Amazingly, the connection between the heel bone and Achilles' tendon withstands theses tremendous loads. A team of doctors, physicists, chemists and engineers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered why. Some 8000 torn Achilles' tendons are treated in Germany every year. And that even though it is the strongest tendon in the human body. It connects the ankle bone to the calf muscle and holds up to ten times the body's weight. The tendon got its name from the -- nearly -- invulnerable Greek hero Achilleus, who was doomed by an arrow that struck him in his heel. "Although orthopedic doctors treat patients with tendon injuries every day, we still know very little about the precise histological structure at the direct interface between bone and tendon: The biochemical processes, the micromechanics and the microstructure of the tissue have hardly been researched," reports PD Dr. Rainer Burgkart, senior physician and research director at the Chair of Orthopedics and Sports Orthopedics at the TUM. Together with an interdisciplinary team of biochemists and biophysicists at the TU Munich, within the framework of the newly founded Center for Functional Protein Assemblies (CPA) and the Munich School of Bioengineering (MSB), the physician has now deciphered the secret of the Achilles' heel: The experts discovered a tissue layer between the tendons and bones that comprises extremely thin protein fibers and ensures the remarkable strength. That is why athletes can take hurdles during a sprint, jump over high bars and survive hard landings, all without damaging the bond between the tendon and ankle bone. In fact, the tendon is more likely to tear than to separate from the bone tissue. "Hitherto, it was thought that the tendons attach directly to the bone. In fact, though, there is a transitional zone. Here the tendon tissue splits into dozens of fine fibers with a characteristic biochemical composition," explains Prof. Andreas Bausch, Chair of Cellular Biophysics and director of the interdisciplinary research group. "The thin fibers are firmly anchored to the jagged surface of the bone and mechanically extremely durable." The fine fibers were discovered using a new interdisciplinary research approach: "The actual innovation in the work lay in the fact that we brought together various medical, physical and engineering processes," says Bausch. A piece of porcine bone with tendon, meticulously prepared by the physicians, was clamped and fixed in an apparatus at the Chair of Cellular Biophysics. Next, the researchers aimed a microscope at the boundary layer, along which the tendon and bone grow together. Using multiscale microscope technology, dozens of images were taken and compiled into a single, large image. "In this way, we could make visible the structure of the fine, split fibers," reports Bausch. Then the team used fluorescing antibodies to get specific proteins to light up. This is where it became clear that the thin fibers have a biochemical composition different from that of the actual tendon. In the third part of their experiment, the researchers moved the tendon back and forth under load and filmed the fibers. The result: Depending on the loading direction, different fibers are active and stabilize the contact. The light microscopy investigations were augmented using high-resolution images of an electron microscope. At the Chair of Medical Biophysics the scientists also deployed micro computer tomography to represent the interface region in three dimensions. In addition researchers at the Chair of Organic Chemistry analyzed the various proteins in the tendons and interface fibers. Approaches for medicine of the future "These results allow us, for the first time, to understand the biochemical processes in the contact zone between bones and tendons, which give our locomotor system its extreme strength," summarizes Bausch. Possible applications will arise in material research, as well as in medicine: Engineers will be able to produce innovative connections between hard and soft materials. And orthopaedic doctors will use the results in tumour surgery to attach tendons to implants. Rossetti, L. A. Kuntz, E. Kunold, J. Schock, K. W. Müller, H. Grabmayr, J. Stolberg-Stolberg, F. Pfeiffer, S. A. Sieber, R. Burgkart and A. R. Bausch: The microstructure and micromechanics of the tendon-bone insertion, Nature Materials, online, 27.02.2017 - DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4863
News Article | February 20, 2017
HONG KONG, Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute ('ASTRI') and Zhongke Laifang Energy Technology (Hong Kong) Limited ('ZKLF (HK)') have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint laboratory to drive R&D for next generation energy storage systems which are safe, efficient, and eco-friendly. The lab will seek to orchestrate ASTRI's scientific and technological expertise with the market-proven capabilities of ZKLF (HK) in the field of storage power products. This partnership will explore the development of new and innovative energy storage systems through R&D in areas like key materials research, process optimisation, battery power source and module design. Joint efforts from ASTRI and ZKLF (HK) are expected to focus on aqueous zinc-lithium-manganese batteries -- providing power storage systems that are not only technologically sound and efficient, but also environment-friendly. The new storage systems will have 25% larger volumetric energy density compared to conventional lead-acid batteries. It will contain no heavy metal pollutants, thereby minimising bio-hazards and environmental pollution. Potential applications will be wide ranging including light electric vehicles, start-stop power source for passenger vehicles, grid energy storage system, and communication backup power sources. Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP, Chairman of the ASTRI's Board of Directors said, "ASTRI strives to develop advanced technologies to support the socio-economic development of Hong Kong. We have ample experience in carrying out R&D work in areas like electronics components and lithium-ion battery materials. Through the establishment of this joint laboratory, we hope to bring about technology breakthrough to the industry." Mr Pan Zhonglai, Chairman of ZKLF (HK) said, "We are very pleased to collaborate with ASTRI to develop the new energy storage systems. These systems can greatly minimise environmental hazard and pollution resulting from the production process of lead-acid storage cells, which currently accounts for around 60% of the market. The new energy storage systems will help us move closer to a lower-carbon industry, thereby, achieving sustainable development and economic growth for the society." While the initial focus is on the aqueous energy storage system solutions, the partnership will be expanded to other types of next generation energy storage and multi-market products and solutions in future. It will allow ZKLF (HK) to take advantage of ASTRI's state-of-the-art R&D facilities as well as the latter's high-calibre technology professionals. According to a report from the lead-acid battery branch of the China Electrical Equipment Industry Association, the energy storage market in Mainland reached a total market value of circa RMB 150-160 billion in 2015. With an export market size of circa RMB 20-25 billion, the total market value was around RMB 170-180 billion in 2015. The partnership between ASTRI and ZKLF (HK) therefore promises a world of potential in terms offering better, technologically superior, safer products to this huge market. Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI's core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit www.astri.org. Zhongke Laifang Energy Technology (HK) Limited (ZKLF(HK)) is the subsidiary of Chengdu Zhongke Laifong Energy Technology Changzhou Company Limited ("ZKLF Changzhou") for the development of environmentally friendly aqueous new energy storage system, specifically set up in Hong Kong. Adhering to the core concept of safety and environmental protection, the company is committed to aqueous battery research, development and production of new materials and dedication to create value for customers. ZKLF Chengdu has in-depth cooperation with Chengdu Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nanjing University. It has a strong research and development team and the ability to obtain more than 30 international and domestic patents. Through mastery in aspects of the research, it has transformed a number of scientific research into the production capacity, and achieved good social and economic benefits.