Tuesday, April 23

Bio-Xcell to showcase M’sia’s bio strength in the US


BIOTECH DEVELOPMENT: The BIO DC 2011 is organised by BIO, the world’s largest biotechnology organisation based in the US providing advocacy, business development and communication services to over 1,100 members, worldwide. — Bernama photo

WASHINGTON: Malaysian Bio-XCell Sdn Bhd (Bio-XCell), the investment arm of Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp), will showcase the nation’s biotechnology ecosystem and its strength as a regional biotech hub at the Bio International Convention 2011 (BIO DC 2011) here.

The three-day annual convention, dubbed the biggest in the world, would be held at the Walter E Washington Convention Centre.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who arrived here on Monday, was leading the Malaysian delegation to the event. And, for the first time in the history of the event, Muhyiddin would be the first foreign leader given the honour to officiate the BIO international convention alongside Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and BIO president and chief executive officer James Greenwood.

The BIO DC 2011, expected to draw over 15,000 industry leaders from over 60 countries, was being organised by BIO, the world’s largest biotechnology organisation based in the US providing advocacy, business development and communication services to over 1,100 members, worldwide.

Bio-XCell, in its second participation in the BIO conference, would showcase Malaysia’s biotechnology ecosystem and the country’s strength as a regional biotech hub, says its chief executive officer Raja Ridzwa Raja Abdul Aziz.

Speaking to Malaysian journalists who are here to cover the BIO DC 2011, Raja Ridzwa said the company had entered its commercial phase as it was ready to accept foreign biotechnology companies interested to set up manufacturing facilities at its custom-built biotechnology park and ecosystem in Iskandar Malaysia.

Presently, Bio-Xcell is a dedicated biotechnology hub catering to the bioprocessing and biomanufacturing needs of global and regional players, as well as a strategic tool to carry out the commercialisation strategy of BiotechCorp in bringing innovations from laboratories to market.

The company would be spending about RM950 million to get the park ready by next year with all the facilities needed to accommodate the foreign biopharma and bio industrial investors.

Raja Ridzwa said Muhyiddin would witness the signing of two agreements — one with a major player that would support the development of Bio-Xcell, and another with an Asian-based company that had tremendous presence in the US; hence marking yet another significant step towards enhancing the infrastructure of the ecosystem and also the hub’s tenant mix.

BiotechCorp would also see a couple of memoranda of collaboration signed between Malaysian biotech companies and global counterparts from Russia and Norway, enhancing Malaysia’s edge in the space of industrial biotechnology.

Meanwhile, BiotechCorp chief operations officer Dr Wan Abdul Rahaman Wan Yaacob said the corporation would also be taking a big step by co-hosting the annual 2011 BioMalaysia, with the 2011 Bio Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

He said for the very first time, the 2011 Pacific Rim Summit in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy would be held outside the US and would place Malaysia on the global map of industrial biotechnology, as well as highlighting Malaysia’s competitive advantage in industrial bio-processing and bio-manufacturing.

Raja Ridzwa said since its launch internationally last year at the BIO Chicago 2010, Bio-XCell had secured investments worth more than US$200 million (around RM610.7 million) for its biotechnology park in Iskandar Malaysia.

The three global industry leaders would be Biocon of India, Metabolic Explorer of France and Glycos Biotechnologies of the US.

He added that the return on investment on the biotechnology park, would begin from 2013 onwards and the entire investment should be recouped in eight to 10 years. — Bernama