Foxconn boss wages war against breast cancer

A global alliance to fight breast cancer was recently announced by Terry Gou, the founder and chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, better known as Foxconn Technology Group�the world's largest contract electronics-maker whose customers include Apple Inc.

The alliance brings together biomedical technology and medical experts from home and abroad under the auspices of Yonglin Healthcare Foundation, including National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei and HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Nantworks of the U.S.

Yonglin was established in 2008 by Gou in memory of his first wife Lin Shu-ru, who died in 2005 from breast cancer, and younger brother Tai-cheng, who died in 2007 from acute myeloid leukemia. Its main goal is to prevent and treat cancer.

Gou said March 12 that understanding human genomes is the first step in fighting breast cancer. A primary focus of NTUH collaboration is genome analysis of ethnic Chinese samples in an attempt to discover how breast cancer-causing genes function.

Yonglin is developing a small-scale gene screening platform in collaboration with physicians from Cathay General Hospital, Cheng Ching Hospital, Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Hospital and Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital in northern, central, southern and eastern Taiwan, respectively. The research is expected to advance oncology through spurring innovations in clinical research, immunotherapy and pharmaceuticals.

The alliance will also showcase Taiwan's soft power and ability to bring together assets and resources from around the world in tackling one of the biggest threats to the health and well-being of women. In addition, it is expected to shed more light on the incidence of Asian-specific breast cancer, the foundation said.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, cancer is the top killer in Taiwan. A total of 2,141women died from breast cancer in 2015, up from 2,071 the year before.

Gou, who is No. 3 on the 2016 Taiwan rich list compiled annually by Forbes, paid US$3.5 billion last year for long-troubled Japanese giant Sharp Corp. and US$350 million for iconic smartphone brand Nokia as part of a bigger deal with Microsoft Corp. After eight consecutive quarters of losses, Sharp reported a net profit of 4.2 billion yen (US$37 million) during the three months to December last year.

Source: Taiwan Today