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Archive for April 20th, 2015

Sigma-Aldrich(R) Expands Customer-Centric Model with Investments in Singapore That Localize World-Class Capabilities to Better Support Customers in Asia

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-New State-of-the-Art Technical Center, cGMP Distribution Center and Headquarters Enhances Ability to Support Customers in the Region

SINGAPORE  /PRNewswire/ — Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ: SIAL), a leading Life Science and High Technology company, today announced the opening of its Asia Pacific headquarters and state-of-the-art Cell Culture Technical Center in Singapore. Located at Biopolis Research Park, the facility will provide customized support to meet customer needs, leveraging the Company’s industry leading scientific capabilities.

“Our new Technical Center will significantly enhance our ability to support our customers in the region more quickly and effectively by providing local technical solutions that are customized to meet their needs,” said Jason Apter, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific for Sigma-Aldrich. “We are partnering with biopharmaceutical companies that are looking to increase the efficiency of their R&D efforts, working with them to reduce the time-to-market, cost and risk in developing both new drugs and generic versions of existing drugs.”

The facility brings existing commercial offices and production laboratories in Singapore into a single location, together with the new Cell Culture Technical Center. The Technical Center will primarily support the customers of our SAFC® Commercial business in biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing.

The Cell Culture Technical Center is designed to address a wide range of needs of our customers in the Asiaregion, ranging from development projects, product support, trouble-shooting and application issues. Initially, the Technical Center will provide:

  • Cell culture media development and optimization services for customers engaged in biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing, and
  • Pre-clinical media manufacturing through our imMEDIAte ADVANTAGE™ (IA) service which provides the ability to custom produce non-cGMP batches of material and subsequent modifications thereby speeding development and accelerating time-to-market.

“The development and manufacturing of biologics, whether innovative new products or generic versions of existing drugs (biosimilars), continues to be an attractive area of growth as our customers continue pushing the boundaries of science and advancing their ability to treat and cure disease,” said Apter. “The Technical Center is a state-of-the-art platform for the delivery of our market-leading technical expertise in the region and through this platform we will continue to expand our ability to support our customers as they build up research and production capacity themselves in this important region.”

To further strengthen its presence in Asia Pacific and to better support customers in the biopharmaceutical industry, Sigma-Aldrich has also announced plans to construct its own cGMP distribution center in Tuas. Expected to open at the end of this year, the distribution center will enable Sigma-Aldrich to provide end-to-end services to its customers and distributors in Singapore and across South East Asia (SEA).

This will be the Company’s first fully-owned distribution center in SEA and will significantly enhance its ability to provide exceptional supply chain security and service to customers in the region. Created with an ‘In Asia for Asia‘ objective, the cGMP certified distribution center will support strategic partnerships with customers in the region, enabling them to meet the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Mr. Kevin Lai, Executive Director of Biomedical Sciences and Consumer Businesses of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said, “Today, the fact that nine of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies have a presence in Singapore across manufacturing, headquarters and R&D operations is testimony to the continued growth of our pharmaceutical industry. We welcome Sigma-Aldrich’s new investment and are confident that this will further strengthen our supporting ecosystem for biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D.”

Gilles Cottier, Executive Vice President and President of SAFC Commercial, said “The choice of Singapore as Sigma-Aldrich’s regional headquarters was an obvious one, given the country’s strategic location, strong economy, political stability and world-class infrastructure.”

“Sigma-Aldrich is recognized as a leading global supplier to the biopharmaceutical industry. Our investments inSingapore play a crucial role in our strategy to better serve our regional customers and global players expanding into Asia.  The country’s rapidly expanding biomedical ecosystem provides Sigma-Aldrich with access to talent and resources in an attractive and robust business environment like Singapore,” said Cottier.

Cautionary Statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as “will significantly enhance,” “will continue to expand,” “will support,” “strategy” or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived therefrom. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that the Technical Center or cGMP distribution center will enable the Company to achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management’s expectations regarding the Technical Center or the cGMP distribution center could be affected by, among other things, the Company’s ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Company’s assets and liabilities as recorded in its consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Sigma-Aldrich’s current Form 10-K on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sigma-Aldrich is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sigma-Aldrich, a leading Life Science and Technology company focused on enhancing human health and safety, manufactures and distributes 296,000 chemicals, biochemicals and other essential products to more than 1.4 million customers globally in research and applied labs as well as in industrial and commercial markets. With three distinct business units – Research, Applied and SAFC Commercial – Sigma-Aldrich is committed to enabling science to improve the quality of life. The Company operates in 37 countries, has approximately 9,300 employees worldwide and had sales of $2.79 billion in 2014. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its website at

©2015 Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC. All rights reserved. Sigma-Aldrich, SAFC and imMEDIAte ADVANTAGE are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC or its affiliates, registered in the U.S. and other countries.


Kristi Fortschneider

Media Inquiries:
Weber Shandwick
Tabitha Ang,, +65-6825-8074
Shruti Bose,, +65-6825-8074

Source: Sigma-Aldrich

Related stocks: NASDAQ-NMS:SIAL

Written by asiafreshnews

April 20, 2015 at 5:22 pm

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Applications Now Open for the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge 2015

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-The nation’s most exciting talent recruitment competition returns, more vibrant and challenging than ever before

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Applications for the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge, Malaysia’s most prestigious talent recruitment competition, are now open. The Challenge, which is now in its fourth year, is a multi-disciplinary business talent competition open to penultimate and final-year university students and fresh graduates from Malaysia and across the world, and seeks to find the very best in future financial talent for the bank.
Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge 2014 Winners pose with their cheque
Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge 2014 Winners pose with their cheque

The Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge seeks to identify and nurture the most ambitious and promising young talent by putting them through their paces in an exciting series of challenges designed to bring out their best. Candidates will face a number of challenges over the course of the competition, testing their business acumen, problem-solving skills, mathematical ability, and their capacity to think on their feet and work in high-pressure environments.

This year, the challenge has been redesigned in terms of the selection process to offer a wider opportunity for candidates from all backgrounds. For the first time, this year Challengers can apply as a team of up to five people as well as individually.

Up for grabs at the International Grand Final at the end of the Challenge is a cash prize of USD $40,000 for the winning team, with USD $20,000 and USD $10,000 for second and third place. The best individual Challenger will win an all-expenses-paid trip to New York as part of their internship, and spending money of USD $1,000. The second and third-placed individual challengers will win internships in the London and Hong Kong Maybank offices, and additional cash prizes of USD $750 and USD $500 respectively.

Moreover, especially promising candidates may earn a fast-track entry into the highly-sought-after Maybank Global Apprentice Programme, kick-starting their careers in the Banking and Finance industry. The winning team and top-3 placed challengers will also be invited to join Maybank’s prestigious ‘Transitioning Leaders to CEOs’ Programme.

Representatives from Maybank will be visiting University campuses across Malaysia and the wider region, where students can learn more about the Challenge, register, and take part in mini-challenges to get a taste of what the GO Ahead. Challenge has to offer.

Interested applicants can find out more and apply to be part of this year’s exciting Challenge by visiting

The official launch of the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge 2015 will be held later this month in Kuala Lumpur.

About the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge

The Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge was inaugurated in 2012. The programme was developed wholly in-house by the Maybank Apprentices to seek for the right potential, energetic talents to be part of the organisation.

Now in its fourth year, the Challenge is open to penultimate and final-year students and recent graduates from 13 countries from across the world where Maybank has significant presence.

About the Global Maybank Apprentice Programme

The Global Maybank Apprentice Programme is an exclusive two-year programme where Apprentices will be given a holistic learning experience with customized on-the-job rotations and even international assignments to allow them to be familiarized with Maybank’s global network operations. The programme is also aimed at accelerating participants into a management role upon their graduation from the programme.

The Global Maybank Apprentice Programme is aimed at developing individuals and includes:

A holistic learning experience with customized on-the-job rotations.
Enhancing leadership skills among others, via involvement in group-wide special projects.
International Assignments to immerse Global Maybank Apprentices in global network operations.
Experiential learning through CR initiatives, project management and presentation to top management.
Face-to-face development interventions where a dedicated coach and mentor is assigned to guide Global Maybank Apprentices throughout their journey.

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Source: Maybank

Written by asiafreshnews

April 20, 2015 at 5:02 pm

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Value Retail CEO Desiree Bollier Addresses Industry Leaders at the 15th Annual WTTC Summit

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MADRID /PRNewswire/ — From 15 to 16 April, Value Retail – the creator and operator of the Collection of Villages across Europe and China – joined travel and tourism industry leaders from around the world for the 15th annual WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) Global Summit.


“Tourists have more choice than they’ve ever had before,” says Desiree Bollier, Chief Executive, Value Retail Management. “To attract the global traveller and stand out in an increasingly competitive market, it’s more important than ever to welcome guests with inspiring attractions and outstanding hospitality at every touch point. Tourism represents a huge opportunity for the global economy and with a joined-up approach from both the public and private sectors, the benefits will be wide-reaching.”

At the summit, Desiree Bollier participated in a panel discussion entitled ‘Focus on Cities – Reinvention, Differentiation and Inspiration’, which focused on the roles of cities in driving travel and tourism. The panel – which included speakers such as Isabel Borrego, Secretary of State for Tourism, Spain, and Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S Travel Association – discussed, amongst other topics, how cities could support the growth of businesses through short and long-term planning and investment.

The Summit united representatives from both public and private sectors to discuss how investment in infrastructure, people and key policies could support the growing travel and tourism sector – which, according to the WTTC, now accounts for 9.5% of global GDP. Additionally, for 2015, the UNWTO forecasts international tourism to grow by 3% to 4%, further contributing to the economic recovery.

Value Retail has been at the forefront of the shopping tourism industry since Bicester Village opened in 1995. It has formed strategic partnerships with travel and tourism partners around the world to drive visitation to the ten Villages across Europe and China, which are now recognised as tourist destinations in their own right. The Villages are each located close to key tourism cities including London, Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Bologna, Brussels, Antwerp, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Munich, and, as of May 2014, Suzhou in China, meaning they are natural additions to travel itineraries for both business and leisure. In 2014, total tax refunded (non-EU) sales across the Collection were up by 16% compared to the previous year, culminating in (36) consecutive quarters – without exception – of double digit growth.

Value Retail recently announced a new partnership with Ctrip – China’s leading online travel agency, which accounts for 50% of the total online travel service market in China – that will make the luxury Village experience accessible to an even wider Chinese audience. Value Retail has partnerships with WTTC members including Hilton, Iberia and China Eastern.

Value Retail also has a growing Business Tourism (MICE) offer. With shopping becoming an increasingly popular activity on business tourism agendas, the ten Villages across Europe and China offer companies an innovative solution for meetings, events, conferences and incentive programmes.

About Value Retail

Value Retail is the only company to specialise exclusively in the development and operation of luxury outlet shopping destinations, the Collection of Villages. The Villages are widely recognised as amongst the best performing shopping centres in terms of sales densities in the world. Since its beginning with Bicester Village in 1995, the Collection has delivered double digit gross sales growth each year and in 2014 attracted 32.5 million visits. Each Village is located within an hour of at least one major European city and has established itself as an international shopping tourism destination defined by high fashion, superior service and hospitality, and a calendar of celebrated events. Value Retail China, an affiliate of Value Retail, opened the first Village in China, Suzhou Village, in Suzhou, 50 miles west of Shanghai in May 2014. A second, Shanghai Village, will open in spring 2016 next to the Shanghai Disney Resort, located at the heart of a Chinese government multi-billion US dollar master plan, the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone (SITRZ). To learn more about Value Retail and Value Retail China, please visit

Source: Value Retail

Written by asiafreshnews

April 20, 2015 at 4:36 pm

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CONCACAF Celebrates 30th Ordinary Congress

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— CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb Re-Elected Unopposed to Second Term

NASSAU, Bahamas /PRNewswire/ — The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) celebrated today its 30th Ordinary Congress and 21st Extra Ordinary Congress in the Bahamas, confirming President Jeffrey Webb to a second term in office while focusing on continuing reforms that have strengthened the organization. Other members of CONCACAF’s Executive Committee were also elected.

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“CONCACAF is — more than ever — united by one vision,” said President Webb, who ran unopposed. “We represent our region on the global stage with one strong and cohesive voice. The invisible barriers that have hampered the region’s progress for decades are diminishing, and we are seeing unprecedented levels of success both on and off the pitch.”

The meeting, which was attended by representatives of all 41 Member Associations, featured dignitaries including FIFA President Joseph Blatter, Bahamas Minister of Tourism Obediah Wilchcombe, as well as candidates to the FIFA Presidency Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, Luis Figo and Michael van Praag.

“What makes the strength of this Confederation is solidarity and unity,” said President Blatter, who said CONCACAF should receive a fourth spot in the upcoming World Cup. “For this remarkable leadership, congratulations to Jeffrey Webb and compliments to Concacaf Executive Committee and Member Associations.”

The Congress also confirmed representatives to occupy various positions in CONCACAF and FIFA Executive Committees:

  • Jeffrey Webb was re-elected as President of CONCACAF, which confirms his position as FIFA Vice-President the next four years,
  • Captain Horace Burrell was re-elected as Vice-President of CONCACAF, Caribbean Zone,
  • Justino Compean was re-elected as Vice-President of CONCACAF, North American Zone,
  • Pedro Chaluja was elected as CONCACAF Executive Committee Member, Central American Zone,
  • Sonia Bien-Aime was elected to occupy the newly created position of Female Member on the CONCACAF Executive Committee,
  • Eduardo Li was elected as FIFA Executive Committee Member representing the CONCACAF Central American Zone.

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The Congress was highlighted by reports focusing on CONCACAF’s increasing levels of good governance, and financial strength, including:

  • Ms. Sonia Bien-Aime, CONCACAF Executive Committee Member, updated the Congress on initiatives in the Grassroots Development of women’s football including the youth development, Under-15 Women’s Championship, the successful Let’s Develop Women’s Football Seminar, and the upcoming Women’s Football Day.
  • The Finance Committee presented its annual report, which reflected growth above projections in the governing body’s finances. The Congress also approved the budget for the next four-year cycle.
  • Independent auditors BDO were also on hand to present the Congress with the 2014 audit. The Congress voted to continue to retain BDO as the independent auditor.
  • The Director of Development gave updates on successful programming carried out in youth development, and initiatives designed to bolster Member Associations across the Confederation in women’s and youth football, as well as Beach Soccer.
  • The Director of Communications and Marketing highlighted the robust growth of following in the Confederation’s social media and marketing initiatives, while introducing the Confederation’s CONCACAF TV channel, set to go to market this month.
  • The Director of Refereeing reviewed the success of the Confederation’s referees on the field, as well as the development and ongoing training of women and young referees.

A general area of focus of the Congress was unity and democracy, as the 41 Member Associations widely voiced support of President Webb’s work over the past three years, before unanimously re-electing him to a further term.

“Three years ago, I ran on a platform of unity, development and enhancement, with a promise to advance our sport and unite the region around it. These were lofty goals — and I fully acknowledge, possibly unattainable ones — without you,” said Webb during his speech.

Additionally, the CONCACAF Integrity Committee, an independent panel that has examined the organization’s functions, reported that following the release of its Report of Investigation, the Confederation has fulfilled more than 30 recommended reforms promulgated by the Committee.

Through the unanimous approval of its amended Statutes at the Extraordinary Congress, CONCACAF further created the legal framework that will allow for the implementation of the aforementioned recommendations and enforcement of due governance policies.


Written by asiafreshnews

April 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm

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Benetton Group Doubles Compensation for Rana Plaza Trust Fund Recommended by Independent Assessors

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-Therefore the Total Contribution to Rana Plaza Victims Amounts to USD 1,600,000
-Benetton Commits on Factory Standards by Applying the Principles of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety to Global Suppliers

PONZANO, Italy /PRNewswire/ — Benetton Group announces that it has contributed USD 1,100,000 to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, doubling the sum recommended in an independent assessment of its contribution by PwC and endorsed by WRAP, an NGO focused on social compliance through global supply chains.

In fact Benetton’s payment of USD 1,100,000 follows a previous payment of USD 500,000 made through BRAC, before the Rana Plaza Trust Fund was established.

This coincides with a commitment from Benetton to raise working conditions and living standards for workers in the international garment industry via several “people first” sustainability initiatives rolling out across its global supply chain. Benetton will progressively apply the principles of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety inBangladesh to its producers in other global markets.

We welcome the PwC report and WRAPs contribution. We have decided to go further to demonstrate very clearly how deeply we care, said Marco Airoldi, CEO of Benetton Group. Whilst there is no real redress for the tragic loss of life we hope that this robust and clear mechanism for calculating compensation could be used more widely. For this reason, we decided to make the PwC report publicly available to all stakeholders.

Benetton has a proud history of social commitment. We believe that by working closely with the right suppliers we can help to improve factory conditions for workers in Bangladesh and in many other parts of the world, he added.

Benetton was one of 29 brands connected to companies operating in the Rana Plaza building. PwC based its report on an assessment from the International Labour Organisation that in total USD 30 million compensation should be paid into the Rana Plaza Trust Fund. PwC calculates Benetton Group’s contribution to be USD 550,000based on the level of its commercial association with the Rana Plaza.

However PwC has not factored in contributions from other third parties, such as the Bangladesh government and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association, unions and others. This means that, if its mechanism were followed by all brands operating at the Rana Plaza, after payments from other third parties the total fund could significantly exceed USD 30 million.

Based on Benettons commercial association with Rana Plaza, we believe this is a fair basis to calculate payments to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund as quantified by ILO, said Sudhir Singh Dungarpur, Partner PwC India.

With a tragedy of this scale, no financial compensation can ever really be enough, but we welcome Benettons decision to pay more than its calculated share of the fund based on the report published by PwC, said Avedis Seferian, President and CEO of WRAP. If everyone took the same approach as Benetton, the overall fund could more than exceed its stated goals.

Benetton was one of the first signatories of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which has improved factory safety in Bangladesh in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster. Now, in addition to applying the Accord globally, the company plans to work with its suppliers to raise workers’ living standards.

For further information:


Source: Benetton Group

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April 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

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A Food Destination Uncovered at Sunway’s New All-day Dining Restaurant, The Resort Cafe

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Kuala Lumpur’s Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa announces the opening of its all-day dining restaurant, The Resort Cafe on Sunday, 19 April 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Located at the lobby level of the 5-star hotel, the 362-seater restaurant took its design and food inspirations from Asia’s lively food halls, packed by a hive of activities, movement and aromas; enhanced further by a sense of nostalgia, drama and action, bringing a new twist that mirrors the vibrancy of Asia. A true canvas to Malaysia and Asia, it celebrates the diverse cultural influences of Malaysia’s Malay, Chinese and Indian communities, serving an extensive range of dishes; providing diners with sensory sensations, bringing together the most authentic taste of popular dishes into the restaurant’s buffet rotations and a la carte selections.
The Resort Cafe at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa featuring monumental towers in a bustling open-exhibition kitchen
The Resort Cafe at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa featuring monumental towers in a bustling open-exhibition kitchen

A kaleidoscope of bold colours and illumination of bright motif-inspired decor dominates the 17,588 square feet restaurant; accented further by its impressive 18 feet high double volume ceiling.

Incorporating a bustling centre open-exhibition kitchen, diners are in for a unique dining experience with an exciting array of live cooking activities and chef interactions featuring a la minute preparation and an expansive display of dishes, a true theatre for the senses. The Resort Cafe features an enticing buffet-island measuring 194 feet in length with well over 60 dishes from seven different menus on rotation daily and a la carte selections brimming with a selection of over 50 of the chefs’ signature dishes.

Diners will be wowed by the monumental octagonal-shaped towers filled with the freshest greens and seasonal fruits. A first of its kind in a restaurant in Malaysia, the wrap-around towers are equipped with chilled water mist and refrigeration systems, blowing 10°C cold mist at the greens and fruits, keeping them fresh, crisp and appetising for a long time.

Eight main themes dominate the culinary offerings at The Resort Cafe. These include the Monumental Fruit and Salad Towers, Malay Archipelago (dishes from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia), Indo-Chine (dishes from Thailand and Vietnam), Oriental Far East (dishes from Japan, Korea and China), Spices of India (dishes from Northern and Southern India), Mirage of the Gulf (dishes from the Middle East), Best from the West (Western comfort food, grills, rotisserie and Churassco) and Desserts (old-school favourites).

The Resort Cafe is open daily from 6.00am to 11.00pm. For reservations, call +60 3 7495 2009 or visit


Farizal B Jaafar
Phone Number: +603 7495 1551

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Source: Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa

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April 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm

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CiRA and Takeda Enter 10-year Collaboration on iPS Cell Research

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KYOTO and OSAKA, Japan /PRNewswire/ — Center for iPS Cell Research Application (CiRA) ofKyoto University and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) announced today that they will work together to develop clinical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in areas such as heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders and cancer immunotherapy. The “Takeda-CiRA Joint Program for iPS Cell Applications” (T-CiRA) is designed to expedite multiple research projects for drug discovery and cell therapy using iPS cells. CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel laureate for his work on iPS cells, will direct the Program, while Takeda provides long-term funding, recommendations on research management, and facilities at its Shonan Research Center, Fujisawa, Japan.

Researchers at Takeda and CiRA at Kyoto University, Japan, will collaborate on developing game-changing therapeutics by applying iPS cell and related technologies to pharmaceutical R&D activities, such as drug discovery, cell therapy and drug safety. CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel laureate for his work on iPS cells, will direct the program, while Takeda provides long-term funding, recommendations on research management, and facilities at Shonan Research Center.
Researchers at Takeda and CiRA at Kyoto University, Japan, will collaborate on developing game-changing therapeutics by applying iPS cell and related technologies to pharmaceutical R&D activities, such as drug discovery, cell therapy and drug safety. CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel laureate for his work on iPS cells, will direct the program, while Takeda provides long-term funding, recommendations on research management, and facilities at Shonan Research Center.

iPS cell technologies have the potential to bring about ground-breaking transformations to future medical treatments, and their applications span a variety of fields, including drug discovery, cell therapy and drug safety assessments. During a period of 10 years, Takeda and CiRA will jointly run projects led by research experts invited from CiRA. The collaboration is expected to make significant contributions to the science and application of iPS cell technology into clinical practice, which requires a significant amount of time, effort and investment.

“This 10-year joint program with Takeda, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, will become a powerful engine to realizing medical applications using iPS cells,” said Yamanaka. “We sincerely thank Takeda’s commitment to iPS cell research. This partnership will contribute to the development of new therapies to cure not only major diseases but also rare ones.”

“I am excited that we will be able to collaborate with CiRA, the world’s leading institute dedicated to pioneering iPS cell research,” said Christophe Weber, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Takeda. “Through this partnership, our company will provide significant assistance over a long period to CiRA’s research into iPS cell technology applications, which is a vital part of Japan Revitalization Strategy. It is our hope to deliver innovative treatments that meet patient needs as soon as possible through this collaboration between Takeda and CiRA.”

This collaboration is aligned with the purpose of National Projects of Japan on clinical applications of iPS cell technologies. Takeda will provide research facilities at its Shonan Research Center and collaborative funding of20 billion yen over a 10-year period. In addition, Takeda will provide more than 12 billion yen worth of research support (facility, equipment, Takeda researchers and various research services) over the 10-year collaboration period. About 100 researchers including new researchers recruited globally are to be based at Takeda’s Shonan Research Center engaged in joint research, with each contributing about 50 researchers. Also, the access to special research assets, such as Takeda’s compound libraries, will be provided for the collaboration.

Potential initial research projects include heart failure, diabetes mellitus, neuro-psychiatric disorders, and cancer immunotherapy. Additional projects will be included as the collaboration moves forward. Once set up, around 10 projects will be pursued concurrently.

About the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University (CiRA)
CiRA, the 14th research institute at Kyoto University, was established on April 1, 2010 to serve as the world’s first core institute dedicated to pioneering iPS cell research. With Dr. Shinya Yamanaka serving as Director, the Center’s 30 research groups are engaged in basic research, research leading to preclinical and clinical applications, and research of ethical issues, with the overall goal of using iPS cells to realize regenerative medicine and drug discovery. Additional information about CiRA is available through its website

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website,

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Source: Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited
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April 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

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Thousands Thrilled By USANA’s Announcement To Open Operations In Indonesia

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SALT LAKE CITY, /PRNewswire/ — Dangerous decibel levels pierce the packed convention center as USANA Health Sciences (NYSE: USNA), a global nutritional company, announces that later this year it will launch operations in Indonesia—the fifth fastest-growing economy in the world. Headquartered in the Jakarta Central Business District, USANA’s presence in Indonesia will mark USANA’s 20th market worldwide.

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Indonesia—a country with a rich culture and home to more than 17,000 islands—is known as the Emerald of the Equator, and this geographical vantage point is key to Indonesia’s entry into the USANA family. The neighboring markets of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia already host a high number of Indonesians, making this expansion ideal for USANA.

“As with any new market announcement there is always great anticipation, but to a sold out crowd of key Associates attending the USANA Asia and Pacific convention, the response to the Indonesia announcement was overwhelming!” exclaimed USANA Executive Vice President of the Pacific Region, David Mulham. “Of all the countries surveyed, Indonesia is by far the most in demand.”

Direct Selling in Indonesia

  • Broke into Direct Selling’s Billion Dollar Market in 2011, with $1 billion in total sales and 10 percent total sales growth over 2010 statistics
  • Estimated 8.3 million residents are direct sellers
  • Fourth most populous country in the world
  • Fifth fastest-growing economy—middle class expected to double in next five years

“This market is instrumental to the long-term strategic growth and success of USANA,” said USANA CEO, Dave Wentz. “But more importantly, this is yet another step towards my father’s vision of making the world a place free of pain and suffering. That’s what USANA is all about.”

USANA will launch its Indonesian market with its flagship product, the Essentials™, along with several of its key optimizers. The state-of-the-art building in Jakarta will house employee offices, a will-call center, a distributor meeting area and several large meeting rooms.

For more information about USANA’s products and company, visit

Founded in 1992, USANA Health Sciences (NYSE: USNA) is a U.S.-based nutritional company that manufactures high-quality supplements, personal care and energy products in its FDA-registered facility in Salt Lake City. Learn more about USANA by visiting our web site or the official USANA blog

Media Contact: Ashley Collins
Executive Director of Public
Relations and Social Media

Source: USANA Health Sciences, Inc.

Related stocks: NYSE:USNA

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April 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm

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Jin Jiang International Hotels Wins TTG China Travel Award

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SHANGHAI /PRNewswire/ — On 16 April, Jin Jiang International Hotels received the award for ‘The Best Local Hotel Chain Operating in Greater China‘, from TTG Travel Trade Publishing, the leading media organization for travel trade industry resources, during the 8th Annual TTG China Travel Awards 2015 Ceremony, held by TTG China in Shanghai. The awards were determined by the individual votes from the readers across TTG’s various publications, and it is the fifth consecutive year that Jin Jiang International Hotels has received this particular award.

Mr. William Cai, Director of Sales & Marketing at Jin Jiang International Hotels, receiving the award
Mr. William Cai, Director of Sales & Marketing at Jin Jiang International Hotels, receiving the award

The TTG China Travel Awards is one of the most prestigious travel trade awards events in Greater China and recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of the most outstanding organizations within the travel trade industry across the country. This year’s event saw 60 travel trade suppliers being honored for their commendable contributions to the flourishing industry and brought together leading members of the hospitality and travel industries from across local and international organizations around Greater China.

Mr. Simon Zhang, Chief Executive Officer, Jin Jiang International Hotels stated, “We are honored to receive this distinguished award for the fifth year in a row and to have been, yet again, acknowledged by such a prestigious organization has been a true privilege. We at Jin Jiang pride ourselves in continuously working on giving all our guests high levels of hospitality services and, in addition, building and improving this long standing national brand. I also want to say a big congratulations to my fellow colleagues whose hard work and dedication has truly shown through and not gone unnoticed.”

About Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company Ltd.

Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company Ltd. (Jin Jiang International Hotels) has a portfolio of over 119 distinctive star rated hotels with a room inventory of over 35,000 hotel rooms spread across 77 cities inChina. Under the Jin Jiang branding concept, the company has a new premium “J” hotel brand, five star luxury properties and four star business properties.

Jin Jiang International Holdings Company Ltd. (“Jin Jiang” or the “Group”), is China’s premier hospitality conglomerate, owner, developer and operator of hotels across all market segments. The Group manages, through its wholly owned subsidiary Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company Ltd., the entire portfolio of owned and/or operated four and five-star hotels and its sister company Jin Jiang Inn which focuses on budget hotels. Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Company Ltd. is the leading operator and manager of hotels inChina. Overall, the Group owns and operates a collection of over 1,767 hotels globally, and has a total room inventory in excess of 258,000. Amongst them, 1,339 distinctive hotels and inns are located in more than 310 cities and towns within 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities across China.

Every Jin Jiang hotel is a memorable reflection of its destination’s unique style and culture. Jin Jiang International Hotels, with its qualified hotel management background and passion for excellence, dedicates itself to offering reputable hospitality services to its valued customers. With experience originating from the 1920s, its core competitiveness has accelerated in recent years. Together, the professional corporate and hotel management teams have extensive international hospitality experiences and backgrounds. This renowned company is rapidly growing and continues to strengthen and build its brand presence in China in addition to building into a strong internationally known brand.

For more information or reservations, please visit:

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Source: Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Co. Ltd.

Written by asiafreshnews

April 20, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

SunEdison Appoints Cathy Zoi As CEO of SunEdison’s Rural Electric Utility Company

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BELMONT, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), the world’s largest renewable energy development company, today announced that Cathy Zoi has been appointed Chief Executive Officer responsible for developing SunEdison’s rural electric utility company, which plans to profitably electrify 20 million new or underserved electric customers by 2020.

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“Beyond the massive market opportunity in grid-connected power, billions of people worldwide don’t have regular access to electricity,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and Chief Executive Officer at SunEdison. “Cathy Zoi, who brings a deep background in both business and public service, is joining us to rapidly grow the rural electric utility opportunity we unveiled in New York after our Capital Markets Day in February. We are committing to bringing electricity to one million people by the end of 2015, and are targeting to help 20 million people gain access to electricity by 2020.”

“SunEdison’s strong presence in emerging markets, like India and Brazil, has created significant commercial momentum in the rural electrification and microgrid markets,” said Cathy Zoi, SunEdison’s newly appointed rural electric utility company CEO. “We intend to create the world’s first private electric utility, with a global footprint, to address this underserved market profitably.”

Cathy Zoi has spent 30 years in the energy and environmental sectors, both in business and public service. She was a partner at Silver Lake Kraftwerk, as well as an operating executive in energy companies. Ms. Zoi was the founding CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection, which she launched with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, as well as the CEO of the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, a fund to commercialize greenhouse-friendly technologies in Australia. She also served as Acting Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy in the Obama Administration and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a pioneer of the Energy Star Program. Ms. Zoi has a B.S. in Geology from Duke and an M.S. in Engineering from Dartmouth.

Ms. Zoi, who is currently a Consulting Professor at Stanford University, where she co-founded and directs the Energy Transformation Collaborative (ETC), will formally commence with SunEdison in June at the end ofStanford’s academic year.

About SunEdison
SunEdison is the world’s largest renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed, and owned around the globe. The company manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs, owns and operates wind and solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison is one of the world’s largest renewable energy asset managers and provides asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services for its renewable energy customers around the world. Corporate headquarters are in the United States, with additional offices around the world. SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.” To learn more visit

Source: SunEdison, Inc.

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Written by asiafreshnews

April 20, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized