Healthcare Experts Unite to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance At Landmark Symposium

Left to right: Dr Mark Miller (Chief Medical Officer of bioMérieux), His Excellency Axel Cruau (Ambassador of France to Malaysia), YB Dato’ Lukanisman bin Awang Sauni (Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia) and En Mohd Hareeff Muhammed (CEO of Premier Integrated Labs and Chairman of Organising Committee of Center of Excellence) officiating the event.  

Kuala Lumpur, 23 November 2023 – Healthcare leaders and experts from public, private and global healthcare organisations came together yesterday for the landmark Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Center of Excellence (COE) Day Symposium, jointly organised by bioMérieux, IHH Healthcare Malaysia, and Premier Integrated Labs. The symposium facilitated knowledge exchange and interconnectivity between AMS teams from different specialities, to address the threats of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR is a major global health concern that hampers our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, higher healthcare costs, and increased mortality.

They shared insights into the challenges posed by AMR and the role of AMS as a solution. The symposium also highlighted the importance of diagnostics in AMR control, the link between antimicrobial resistance and judicious use of antibiotics, and initiatives in the public and private healthcare sector for controlling AMR.

Dr Mark Miller, Chief Medical Officer at bioMérieux and an expert on AMR and AMS, addressed how latest diagnostic tests can help physicians in adopting AMS principles while providing appropriate treatment for infectious diseases. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Health (NIH) presented their insights on national antimicrobial resistance data, which is integral in directing national efforts against this public health threat.

The symposium marked the first anniversary of the establishment of the AMS Center of Excellence (COE) partnership between bioMérieux, IHH Healthcare Malaysia and Premier Integrated Labs. The latter two healthcare providers join healthcare institutions in China and India to be designated as AMS COEs in Asia Pacific. Since its establishment, the Malaysia COE has marked several milestones in the fight against AMR. Notably, they have established an antibiotic resistance reporting framework, and organised nine AMS education programmes for front line healthcare professionals to advance their skills in AMS.

The presence of Deputy Minister of Health, YB Dato’ Lukanisman bin Awang Sauni, underscored the national importance of the symposium. YB Dato’ Lukanisman, in his speech said, “I am extremely pleased to see a partnership with the private sector committed to combating AMR. The effort to overcome this global threat requires collaboration from multiple different sectors. I would also like to congratulate bioMérieux, IHH Healthcare Malaysia and Premier Integrated Labs for being the first AMS COE in the region, and for organising a successful event today.”

Left to right: Dr. Rahela Ambaras Khan, Head of Pharmacotherapy Services, Pharmacy Department, Hospital Kuala Lumpur; Mr Tan Yew Aik, Head of Pharmacy Services IHH Healthcare Malaysia; En Mohd Hareeff Muhammed, CEO of Premier Integrated Labs and Chairman of Organising Committee of Center of Excellence; YB Dato’ Lukanisman bin Awang Sauni, Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia; His Excellency Axel Cruau, Ambassador of France to Malaysia; and Jacob Morton, AMS Global Programme Director bioMérieux at the symposium.

Mr Jean-François Naa, CEO of IHH Healthcare Malaysia, added, “At IHH Healthcare Malaysia, we are fully committed to combating AMR. It is integrated into our global sustainability goals, and we have set up an active AMS committee in Malaysia to strategically spearhead initiatives. In this battle against AMR, knowledge remains our strongest ally. The exchange of insights and experiences between global experts, local healthcare leaders and private healthcare providers is crucial, as we navigate these uncharted waters. Moving forward, it is crucial that we work together strategically to combat resistance, instead of in silos.”

The symposium was a significant step towards addressing the global health concern of AMR. It not only facilitated knowledge exchange and collaboration but also highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships in combating AMR


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health crisis caused by the natural mutation of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites, leading to their resistance to antimicrobials. This means that standard antimicrobial treatments become ineffective, and infections persist, increasing the risk of severe consequences to the patient. AMR is directly responsible for 1.27 million deaths annually and is associated with 4.95 million deaths worldwide due to drug-resistant infections.

Combating AMR is critical to safeguard the efficacy of antibiotics for future generations. The appropriate use of diagnostics can guide responsible antimicrobial use, preserving their lifesaving potential.


bioMérieux adopts a proactive, partnership-driven approach to combat AMR. Through diagnostic and data-driven solutions, bioMérieux strives to enhance AMS efforts. The AMS Centers of Excellence (COE) designation is awarded to leading hospitals globally that commit to best AMS practices. Currently, bioMérieux is partnered with thirteen sites across multiple continents. IHH Healthcare Malaysia and Premier Integrated Labs have achieved the distinction of becoming the first healthcare providers in ASEAN to be awarded the COE.

This partnership aims to promote data-driven best practices as well as to advance medical education in the field of AMS. It also focuses on generating real-world medical and economic data, emphasising the value of combining diagnostics, medical education, lab consultancy services, and information technology solutions. This partnership symbolises a significant step toward a world free from the threat of AMR.

By inspiring other health institutions, the COE can contribute to increasing the quality of care and improving the level of healthcare systems in Malaysia.

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A Significant Milestone in Improving the Access of Malaysians to Comprehensive Genomic Profiling

Recently, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Roche Diagnostics cemented a partnership with Premier Integrated Labs with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU is effective from November 2023.

The objectives of this partnership include improving patient access to comprehensive genomic profiling or CGP as well as promoting greater awareness and understanding of CGP among Malaysians.

General Manager
Roche Diagnostics (M) Sdn Bhd

“While awareness and understanding are crucial, our ultimate goal is to ensure that CGP is accessible to all patients in Malaysia. It is about providing every patient with the best possible chance for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan,” says Ms Heng Chai Yin, the General Manager of Roche Diagnostics Sdn Bhd.


With a single test, comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) can analyse a broad panel of genes that is known to drive cancer growth. This type of testing produces comprehensive patient reports with broad and deep assessments of the possible underlying cancer drivers.1


Precision medicine involves the use of personalized treatments for an individual with regards to a disease.2

Different people can respond differently to the same medication for the same disease, and there are many possible factors that are responsible for these differences.

Hence, a big part of precision medicine involves the identification of these differences through investigative methods such as in the image below.

Click on the image for a larger, clearer version. CGP falls under omics. Hence, it is one of the important procedures that provide healthcare professionals with the necessary data to design the best personalized treatments for their patients.
General Manager
Roche (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

According to Ms Deepti Saraf, CGP holds the key to unlocking the full potential of personalized medicine. It allows us to explore the genetic makeup of individuals, thereby enabling more precise and tailored treatment approaches.

Let’s look at lung cancer as an example.

How CGP could improve treatment for lung cancer and benefit both the patient and the oncologist. Click the image for a larger, clearer version.

Ms Deepti Saraf points out that, unlike those genomic tests in the market that let you know about your genes and ancestry, CGP is more of a diagnostic tool that empowers doctors, especially oncologists, to create the most optimal personalized treatments for their patients based on available data.

Chief Executive Officer
Premier Integrated Labs

En Hareeff Muhammed brings up that, with the wealth of genomic data obtained through the use of CGP, databases can be created to analyse which treatments would work best for different groups of patients.

This goes back to Ms Deepti Saraf’s statement that CGP allows healthcare professionals to design the best personalized treatments for their patients. They can do this by using the information found in the database to help shape their decisions.

“It’s not just useful for the patients and saves time,” En Hareeff elaborates. “It also supports doctors in making better decisions.”

This is an educational article brought to you by


  1. Foundation Medicine. (n.d.). Why comprehensive genomic profiling?
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  3. Omics-based clinical discovery: Science, technology, and applications. (2012, March 23). In C.M. Micheel, S.J. Nass, & G.S. Omenn (Eds), Evolution of translational omics: lessons learned and the path forward (p. 33). National Academies Press (US).
  4. Tan, J., Hu, C., Deng, P., Wan, R., Cao, L., Li, M., Yang, H., Gu, Q., An, J., & Jiang, J. (2021). The predictive values of advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients harboring uncommon EGFR mutations-the mutation patterns, use of different generations of EGFR-TKIs, and concurrent genetic alterations. Frontiers in oncology, 11, 646577.
  5. American Lung Association. (2022, November 17). EGFR and lung cancer.