India's leading biotechnology company, Bharat Biotech, has said it intends to spend more than €10 million on the construction of a manufacturing facility in Perak, Malaysia, to mass produce hepatitis B, typhoid and malaria vaccines.
This is the company's first overseas facility and the first time the company has embarked on a venture outside India, according to firm's chief executive Krishna Ella. Bharat had earlier suggested that it would site the plant in Africa, but decided to plump for Malaysia once the benefits of a state-backed joint venture emerged.
The construction of the plant will be a joint venture with Perak State Development Corp and Remco Engineering & Consultancy, and should go online in the middle of next year.
In addition to vaccines production, the facility will also carry out biotechnology R&D. It will take about 14 months for the new unit to be set up and become operational, it was noted. Vaccines manufactured at the Perak plant would be used as a springboard into the Middle East and ASEAN markets, particularly Indonesia.
Bharat Biotech was established in 1996 and was the first biotechnology company to be set up in India. It already operates a production facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, which has 500 workers and 65 scientists and is claimed to be the second largest such facility in the world.
The plant produces 100 million doses of hepatitis B vaccine annually to international standards.