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MOH oncologist to enter acclaimed phase 1 clinical research fellowship

Rachel Soon
Medical Writer
6 days ago
L-R: Dr Voon Pei Jye, Dr Akhmal Yusof, and Dato’ Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min. (Photo credit: CRM Facebook)

The Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) via Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) has announced its sponsorship of a medical oncologist for a fellowship in Phase 1 clinical research at an internationally renowned Canadian cancer centre.

Dr Voon Pei Jye, medical oncologist from Sarawak General Hospital, will join five other oncologists from the UK, Spain, and Italy in the fellowship programme at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC), which is an affiliate of the University of Toronto, Canada. Voon will be posted at PMCC’s Phase 1 Medical Oncology Division for a 13-month period, where he will be involved in multiple research projects as well as clinical and teaching duties specific to the programme.

PMCC is the largest cancer research institution in Canada and one of the five largest such centres globally, treating 17,700 new patients annually. It focuses on basic, translational, and clinical research initiatives in collaboration with other institutions across the country. [https://thepmcf.ca/Our-Impact/Top-5-Cancer-Research-Centre#scale]

According to a press statement by CRM representatives, Voon’s acceptance into the PMCC programme marks another step in the country’s readiness as a primary site for conducting early phase clinical research, particularly first-in-human trials.

“This sponsorship completes CRM’s Phase 1 Realization Project (P1RP) which was conceived in 2016 and executed in stages to develop Malaysia’s early phase clinical trial capability,” said CRM representatives.

“This includes the development of the Phase 1 Clinical Trial Guidelines, capability development (ie, Phase 1 scientific panel setup), people development (ie, postgraduate training for regulatory officers) and preparation of a Phase 1 trial site (Sarawak General Hospital accredited as a Phase 1 Unit by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency late last year),” they added.

In 2019, Voon was the recipient of CRM’s ‘Investigator of the Year’ Sponsored Research Award for initiating the highest number of clinical studies and oncology trials in the preceding year. He was also the principal investigator for seven studies approved in 2018, including a Phase 1 dose escalation study, and had his research findings presented at international conferences including ESMO* Munich, ESMO Asia, the World Conference on Lung Cancer, EndoBarcelona, and the Malaysia-Singapore Congress of Medicine. [https://clinicalresearch.my/congratulations-to-crm-sponsored-research-award-winners]

At a signing ceremony for the CRM Education Scholarship Agreement between Voon and CRM, signatories present were Voon, Dato’ Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min, MOH secretary-general, and Dr Akhmal Yusof, CRM chief executive officer. The ceremony was witnessed by Dato’ Sri Dr Adham Baba, Health Minister.

“The attachment of Dr Voon will move the country a notch further in moving away from late-phase to early-phase clinical trials, enabling local drug development and providing treatment options for patients who are not responding well to the current standard of care,” said Adham.

Established by MOH in 2012, CRM is a non-profit government organization created to provide end-to-end support for industry-sponsored research in Malaysia. Among CRM’s initiatives include feasibility studies and investigator matching, legal and financial advisory services for clinical trials, study coordinator and site development, as well as public and patient engagement. [https://clinicalresearch.my/services]

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