Protasco win RM578.5m govt deal

The BioMalaysia and Bioeconomic Asia Pacific 2013 Conference and Exhibition ended yesterday, drawing more than 5,000 visitors, with more than 250 business-matching exercises concluded.

“We have managed to draw more than 5,000 visitors to the events and all the conference sessions were full house,” said Malaysian Biotech Corp Sdn Bhd (Biotech Corp) CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal in Johor Baru yesterday.

Nazlee said that the proximity of the location to Singapore has managed to attract many visitors from that country and that bodes well in enticing investors in the future.

The 12th series of the annual conference was the first one held outside Kuala Lumpur which saw several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed between local and foreign biobased institutions and companies, with potential investments totalling RM350 million.

Among the notable signings were those between Malaysian Bio-Xcells Sdn Bhd, Stellis Biopharma and GE Healthcare for the development of the biomanufacturing industry in the country.

Mohd Nazlee said the Bio- XCell Biotechnology Park in Nusajaya has been well received and that there are only few plots left in the 100-acre park.

“We are not at liberty to give further details but we will be signing the agreements with the parties before the end of the year,” said Mohd Nazlee.

Bio-XCell is developed by Malaysian Bio-XCell, a joint venture company between Biotech Corp and property developer UEM Land Bhd.

Indian pharmaceut ical company Biocon Ltd is building a biomanufacturing and research and development facility with investments worth RM500 million on a 40-acre plot in Bio-XCell, making it the biggest firm in the park.

“We are on target to meet commercial production by 2015, after approval from relevant authorities,” Biocon Sdn Bhd VP and head of Malaysian operation Srinivasan Raman told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday.

Srinivasan said that the facility with 300 workers will be the global facility for the production of insulin for the world market.

Srinivasan said that the company chose its location due to the support given by Biotech Corp and the government to develop the biotechnological industry, including a 10 year tax break to companies sited within Bio-XCell.

In addition, the locality is suitable for marketing its products around the region, said Srinivasan.

On the local front, Institute of Bioproduct Environment (IBE), an organisation under University Teknologi Malaysia is tasked to develop high value products technologically using national resources is also a Bio- Nexus partners labs where companies under BioNexus Programme could utilise their services.

IBE’s main role is to bring ideas developed by the university to fruition.

“We have a team to decide on the technical feasibility and the financial viability of each project before we proceed with the commercialisation of these products,” said IBE’s director Professor Ramlan Aziz to TMR yesterday.

Ramlan highlighted that IBE has been given a RM9.8 million grant by Malaysian government to conduct clinical train on herbal base products.

“The trials in important to ensure that our herbals products would comply with international standard so these products would be able to be marketed internationally,” said Ramlan.