Biocon to invest $161 million in Malaysian biotech firm

Asia's premier biotechnology company Biocon said yesterday that it would make a strategic investment of around 500 million Malaysian ringgit ($161 million) in Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation SdnBhd (BiotechCorp) for the production of high-end biosimilars and other bio-pharmaceutical products.

The investment will be made towards establishing a bio-manufacturing, and research and development facility in Bio-XCell, a custom-built biotechnology park in Iskander Malaysia, an economic region in Johor, the company said in a statement.

The business documents were exchanged between Biocon and Putrajaya-based BiotechCorp, in the presence of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Malaysian counterpart Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

Biocon's chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said: ''Investing in Malaysia provides us with an international location with strategic geographical proximity to India.''

''Biocon is pleased to be an early mover in this emerging opportunity as we dovetail our research and bio-manufacturing operations with those in Malaysia to gain a global competitive advantage," the chairman further said.

Biocon's proposed investment of $161 million in the first phase is the largest for the Malaysian biotechnology sector thus far.