Science/technology

Vietnamese commercialized research results poorly protected

It is not easy at all for a research result to be successfully commercialized. Yet it is even more challenging to protect the fame of this newly introduced product. In Vietnam, this process has revealed many weaknesses, calling upon more effective methods from the authorities to timely amend the situation.

The product from SHTP Labs’ research (on the left) and its similar product (on the right). Photo: SGGP

The product from SHTP Labs’ research (on the left) and its similar product (on the right). Photo: SGGP

After the launch of the project ‘Piloting the Commercialization of Research Results for Hi-tech Products in Saigon Hi-tech Park in the Period from 2017 – 2018’, various promising products have been created.

Two of the most noticeable are Bio Suncare, a sunscreen pill that applies nano lycopen technology, and bandage gel, which uses stem cells from deer velvet antler.

In particular, in August 2018, Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP) Labs cooperated with Geneworld – a company in SHTP, and VioTek Development Technology Corporation to officially introduce Bio Suncare, a research result by the functional food research team from Nano technology lab (under SHTP Labs) and the Research & Development Department of Geneworld.

To become the exclusive distributor of this product in Vietnam, Mediworld Biotechnology Company signed a contract to buy over 1 million packs with the value of more than VND3.8 billion (approx. $163,900).

Similarly, in June 2018, SHTP and the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Department of Science and Technology organized the conference ‘Using Stem Cells from Deer Velvet Antler and Nanocellulose to Manufacture Bandage Gel’. The product was formally introduced to the public in October 2018.

This merchandise, along with another one from the same material called MediGen, was also under the responsibility of SHTP Labs and Geneworld. 

Not long after the launch of these goods, in this July, the distributor MediWorld asked the authorities for help because unexpectedly in the market, there appear very similar products to Bio Suncare sunscreen pill and MediGen, but with much lower prices.

These suspected goods are Derma – a sunscreen pill, and FGF – stem cells from deer velvet antler. They are the co-created products of Acacaia Vietnam Company (located in Tan Binh District of HCMC), Gold Health Company (in District 9), and An Binh Company (in Tan Phu District). 

After careful analysis, scientists affirmed that Derma’s particles are too big to be made using Nanolycopen technology, plus it is not water-soluble. In addition, FGF is a low-quality product since its material is only biomedicine preparation by SHTP Labs. 

As a research unit as well as a partner to commercialize research results, SHTP Labs had to conduct further investigation on the origin of the suspected merchandise in order to protect the genuine ones. They discovered that it is the leaders of MediWorld Co. who are the creators of Derma and FGF.

It seems the lucrative profit from Bio Suncare and MediGen is so high that these ill-minded people intend to manufacture similar goods to earn money from the fame.

This is such a dear lesson for those who are doing research and who wish to commercialize research results in the future. It is vital to establish an effective procedure to protect these new products from research, as stated by Mr. Ngo Vo Ke Thanh.

By BA TAN – Translated by Vien Hong

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