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Unilab, MSU-IIT ink deal on nutraceuticals R&D

07:17 PM February 26, 2019

From L to R: Ma. Lourdes Garganera, UNILAB Assistant Vice President of the Office of Regulatory Affairs; Dr. Jinky Bornales, MSU-IIT Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension; Sukarno Tanggol, DPA, MSU-IIT Chancellor; Atty. Jose Maria Ochave, UNILAB Senior Vice President; Dr. Mylene Uy, MSU-IIT Acting Director of the Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM); and Elaine Munsayac, UNILAB Director for Business Development.

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — Southeast Asia’s top pharmaceutical company Unilab, Inc. has forged an agreement with Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) for joint undertakings on the research and development of nutraceuticals and dietary products.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a major milestone for the Philippine pharmaceutical sector as it signals the start of a strong collaboration between the academe and industry players.


“There has been no real collaboration between the industry and the academe yet. According to USAID, there seems to be a mutual mistrust between the industry and the academe,” said Sukarno D. Tanggol, DPA, chancellor of MSU-IIT.

The MOU which Unilab and MSU-IIT signed on Feb. 6 at the Unilab Corporate Center in Mandaluyong City effectively broke the said mistrust. The MOU is the beginning of a partnership, not just between the two entities, but more so between the industry and academe.


Unilab, being the leading pharmaceutical company in Southeast Asia, has been vigorously pursuing social partnerships, and Unilab Senior Vice President Atty. Jose Maria A. Ochave stressed that he strongly believes the industry and the academe could work together.

“Many things can happen outside Manila, that’s why Unilab chose MSU-IIT for this partnership,” Ochave said.

He also said that they are looking for more R&D-focused universities outside of Metro Manila whose products or services they can help develop so these can be utilized by the people. “We need more industry-academe collaborations so that the results of government-funded researches do not end up simply gathering dust in the cabinets,” Ochave said.

MSU-IIT, through its Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM), is engaged in researches and studies on dietary products, nutraceuticals, and Mindanao’s flora and fauna.

Nutraceuticals are food products or parts of a food that help treat or prevent certain diseases. Through this partnership, Unilab and MSU-IIT will collaborate in the review and evaluation of research studies with potential commercial benefit.

“We are grateful that Unilab deemed MSU-IIT as a worthy partner. It has been my dream as a chancellor for the university to be known internationally, and this partnership signals that Mindanao has institutions which can be tapped for the development of the country. In particular, PRISM is now envisioning to go over natural products. Through this partnership, not only is Unilab helping MSU-IIT in data, but we are also going to be able to help the communities in Mindanao, because there are many researchable products in MSU-IIT and in the areas nearby,” Tanggol said.

Tanggol is optimistic that this partnership will also provide more space for MSU-IIT researchers to spread their wings.


“This partnership also aims to show that there is a productive and prosperous career in science and technology. And in Unilab, there is a big need for science and tech graduates,” ends Ochave.

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