Vol. 70 (Oct 15)


Oper Technology – making breakthroughs in neurodegenerative diseases

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" has always been my favourite quote. As a female scientist and entrepreneur, it is never an easy task to step into the male-dominated tech and business sectors. I was fortunate and grateful to receive funding from the Innovative and Technology Commission as a support for technology start-up companies last year, and I have also gained the valuable opportunity to join the Incubation Programme of HKSTP.

I have been working on developing innovative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases since my PhD and postdoctoral trainings at Hong Kong Baptist University. Two years ago, my supervisor and I announced that we were the first group to utilise our novel nanoparticles successfully to harvest autologous neural stem cells harmlessly from the brains of a live subject. Our technology is not only a breakthrough in science, but will also contribute to the society and improve clinical practices in healthcare industries for restoring health and extending the life of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Before our technology, the harvest of neural stem cells was almost impossible. This finding has widely attracted the attention from the public as well as from patients with neurodegenerative diseases that are still incurable at this moment. We realized that commercializing this technological breakthrough was the only way to help those in need. This is what motivated us to start our company Oper Technology.

Oper Technology is committed to developing and perfecting our innovation with state-of-the-art technologies on precision medicine and personalized medicine. Our focuses are on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Our patented autologous neural stem cell harvest technology can overcome the shortcomings of the current stem cell therapies, such as the ethical disputes and risks of transplant rejection by the immune system, and the danger of tumor formation. Ultimately, we will one day offer a "neural to neural, self to self" treatment to patients and allow them to use their own stem cells to cure themselves. In addition to our ultimate goals, our company also has a number of patents that will help us establish an intensive and promising platform of bio-imaging, diagnosis and therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

I am very confident that our company will successfully launch clinical trials on patients in the near future. We have already gained ample recognition from both industry and academia. In September 2015, we were honoured to receive the award from Red Herring Top 100 Asia 2015 which verifies our contribution to the field of biotechnology at international level. We are also at present shortlisted to be the finalists for the Red Herring Top 100 Global award that will take place in Los Angeles in November 2015.

HKSTP has created a valuable and important platform for us to connect different people and accelerate our business. Without the support of HKSTP, the success of our work would never have been possible.

Cathy, Liu
CEO, Oper Technology