KL-based Sengenics opens US$11m facility in Brunei

KL-based Sengenics opens US$11m facility in Brunei
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 26): Kuala Lumpur-based Sengenics is opening a new DNA sequencing and microarray facility in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

In a statement today, the genomics and proteomics-based research and diagnostics company said the new facility was in response to the Brunei government's initiative to accelerate biotechnology related research and development (R&D) activities in the country.

It said the total joint investment made by Sengenics and the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) will exceed US$11 million over the next two years.

Sengenics executive director Dr Arif Anwar said the company would focus on two core activities from its new facility in Brunei.

"Firstly, the company will offer commercial services leveraging its patented Immunome autoantibody profiling platform and the ExoMAX clinical genomics diagnosis pipeline.

"Secondly, in collaboration with UBD and supported by BEDB through the Brunei Research Incentive Scheme (BRISc), Sengenics will embark upon two novel Halal meat and food related research and commercialisation projects," he said.

Arif said pivotal factors for choosing Brunei included its strategic location in Asia combined with the country's political and economic stability; BEDB's facilitation, taxation and incentive schemes to foster and enhance biotechnology research and commercialisation; as well as the ease of finding highly qualified and skilled personnel.

"Of particular interest was Brunei's strategy to position itself as an internationally renowned Halal brand. We strongly believe that Sengenics can contribute novel ideas and develop innovative commercial products to economically complement Brunei's Halal Hub strategy," he added.

UBD Assistant Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor David Koh said that university–industry partnerships had long been viewed as one of the main drivers of innovation in an economy.

Meanwhile, BEDB acting chief executive officer Hasnah Ibrahim said industrialisation was important for economic development and growth and Sengenics was viewed as a strategically powerful fit to spearhead scientific R&D in Brunei and act as a catalyst to attract other technology providers.

"This opens up new job opportunities, expands skills, and establishes knowledge transfer between industry and academia," she said.