KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 26): Indian biopharmaceutical company Biocon is all set to start operations at the 32.37-hectare Bio-XCell compound in Johor, by the end of 2014.
Biocon is one of Bio-XCell Sdn Bhd's clients, besides France’s metabolic explorer Agila Specialities and US-based Glycos Biotechnologies.
Bio-XCell Chief Executive Officer Rizatuddin Ramli said all construction work for the Biocon site has been completed, and once operations begin, the insulin provider will function non-stop, together with other clients at the new regional biotech hub of Asia.
With an investment of over US$160 million — the largest foreign investment in this sector in Malaysia, Biocon has been recognised as an Entry Point Project (EPP) by the government, and is expected to play a major role in the government's economic transformation programme.
"Overall, the investment commitment at the biotech hub amounts to RM900 million, and it is going to reach RM1.2 billion, when we have two or three more companies coming in soon," he told Bernama, adding that the hub will be fully-completed by 2016.
Bio-XCell, according to Rizatuddin, recently signed a collaboration agreement with BioSingapore, to spearhead the development of the biotechnology industry in the Southeast Asian region. It will also promote strong cross-border alliances between the life sciences and biomanufacturing communities in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor and Singapore.
He said Bio-XCell will have more clients next year. Companies with businesses in the hub, are currently all foreign, as local companies still lack the required work skills, he said.
"They need to scale up, both in terms of work skills and funding, as each company's investment here, can easily come up to US$30 million," he said.
Bio-XCell is Malaysia’s premier biotechnology park, with an ecosystem that is 60-40 per cent owned by Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (Biotechcorp), and UEM Sunrise Holdings — the master developer of Nusajaya.