India-based Biocon is investing RM500m ($161m) in Malaysia to establish a cGMP biomanufacturing and R&D facility.
When operational in 2014 the facility will perform current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) compliant production of biosimilars and biologics, as well as research and development.
Biocon is making the investment with the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation SdnBhd (BiotechCorp) to establish a plant in Bio-XCell, a purpose-built biotech park in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia.
The $161m investment, which Biocon says is the largest made in the Malaysian biotech sector, will be used to implement the first phase of the Indian company’s expansion into the country.
Initial documents have been exchanged between Biocon and BiotechCorp in the presence of Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, and Najib Tun Razak, his Malaysian counterpart.
Biopharm in Malaysia
“Biocon’s strategic investment in Malaysia will propel our industry to the next level. It will be a catalyst in our commercialisation efforts as we enter phase 2 of our National Biotechnology Policy – the Science to Business Phase”, said Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, CEO of BiotechCorp.
Dato’ Iskandar anticipates the facility will stimulate growth in the sector and provide opportunities for small- and medium-sized local biotechs. More vigorous domestic direct investment and increased presence of Biocon-affiliated global biopharm are other expected side-effects.
Companies operating in the Malaysian biotech sector can receive BioNexus status. Gaining BioNexus approval makes companies eligible for a number of incentives , such as tax exemptions.There are currently nine Indian companies in the BioNexus network.