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More foreign firms plan to invest in BioXCell @ Nusajaya

posted 2 Oct 2011, 05:34 by Straits View

JOHOR BARU: Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) says five more foreign biotechnology companies are planning to invest millions of ringgit at BioXCell @ Nusajaya.

Chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal said the investments in the custom-built technology park in Iskandar Malaysia would be realised within the next few years.

He said the five biotechnology companies coming to Nusajaya were from India, France, South Korea and the United States.

“The development of facilities at BioXCell and the investments from companies in the biotech park will add up to RM10bil,'' Dr Mohd Nazlee said on Saturday.

BioXCell, a biotech park on 32.37ha in the Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters (SiLC), is being developed by Malaysian BioXCell Sdn Bhd.

UEM Land Holdings Bhd holds 40% equity in Malaysian BioXCell with the remaining 60% held by Biotech Corp the former is the developer of the 526.10ha SiLC in Nusajaya, which is being developed as a clean and green industrial park in Iskandar.

Dr Mohd Nazlee said this at the project commencement for the first high-end biopharmaceutical manufacturing and research and development (R&D) facility by India's Biocon Ltd in BioXCell.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman unveiled a plaque to commemorate Biocon's RM500mil facility. Also present was Biocon chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

Dr Mohd Nazlee said the development of the biotechnology park was progressing well and with Biocon's investment, more biotech companies, especially from India, were likely to follow suit.

He said BioXCell would create more job opportunities for locals.

“We are targeting to create about 300,000 jobs in the country's biotechnology industry by the end of 2012. As of to date, we have created 14,000 knowledge-based workers,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Kiran said apart from Malaysia, other countries including Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and United Arab Emirates were also keen to attract investments from Biocon.

She said the company preferred to invest in Malaysia due to the country's cost competitiveness.

“The Johor plant will be operational by 2014, catering for the global requirements of our range of Biosimilar insulin and insulin analogs for diabetes treatment being commercialised by Pfizer Inc,'' she said.

Kiran said the plant would focus on R&D and the production of other biopharmaceuticals products at a later stage.

Bangalore-based Biocon was established in 1978 and is the biggest biotech firm in Asia. It has evolved from an enzyme company to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical enterprise, focusing on healthcare.

- Malaysia Star