TaiGen Biotechnology Co. Ltd.'s financing and technology deal with Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. demonstrates the power of personal relationships as well as providing the most high-profile milestone in the effort to build a fledgling biotechnology sector in Taiwan. Now what remains to be seen is whether the $37 million start-up deal will provide a successful proof of principle for the technology transfer model for industrial development.

TaiGen is launching operations with the series A financing also announced last week, with the investors including MPM Capital; Development Fund; Yuen Foo Yoong; China Development Industrial Bank; Shingkong Life Insurance; Yao Hwa Glass; Industrial Bank of Taiwan; Hotung Ventures; Cheng Xin Technology Development; China Synthetic Rubber; Fujisawa; Chailease Finance; Champion Venture; and Cathay Life Insurance.