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Three Questions for Shirley Sze-To, Harmony’s Asian Operations and Fundraising Expert

carter | June 17, 2022 | 12:22 pm

We are proud to introduce Shirley Sze-To, our fundraising and Asian operations specialist. Based in Hong Kong, Shirley has been spearheading our expansion into international markets, setting up our laboratory and home base for Asian operations at Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, one of the leading innovation hubs in Asia. We sat down with Shirley to learn more about her work in Hong Kong and fundraising. 

Can you tell us about Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) and Incu-Bio, as well as our plans there? 

HKSTP is one of the leading supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia and we are excited to be part of its Incu-Bio Program, which provides curated facilities and resources to nurture biotechnology companies like Harmony. Over the next four years of incubation, we would be spearheading our breastmilk protein pipeline development in Hong Kong to create infant formulas that are closer to breastmilk than ever before. Our clinical effort will also enable us to open the doors to regulatory approvals and markets in Asia. We see Hong Kong as our Asia R&D hub for protein development while it is also a strategic location for us to coordinate resources in Asia, including the bridge to Mainland China, our second target market after the US and home to some of our key strategic suppliers and R&D partners. 

What are the benefits of HKSTP and why is it good for us to be part of their Incu-Bio Program?

It is not easy for an early-stage company like ours to expand our geographic footprint without any external support. We recognize the importance of infant nutrition in the Asia market since day 1 and the Incu-Bio Program provides non-equity dilutive funding for us to set foot and establish a presence here. On top of the monetary grant and state-of-the-art facilities to support our R&D activities, HKSTP is well connected with industrial partners, talents and investors to support our company’s growth. 

By the way, how is this round of funding going? 

We are nearing the close of our current funding round which will expedite the launch of the first human breast milk protein-based formula in the market. We have been honored to have received support from renowned food science and biotech investors in Asia, including Brinc, Big Idea Ventures and K3 Ventures, and are looking forward to partnering with more strategic investors in Hong Kong and Asia.