Biocon to set biopharmaceutical plant, R&D centre in Malaysia

Bangalore-based Biocon is setting up a biopharmaceutical manufacturing and research and development facility at a proposed investment of RM500 million (approximately $161 million) in the first phase at this facility.

The investment is the largest for the Malaysian healthcare biotechnology sector thus far, and is scheduled to be operational by 2014.

The project is located at Bio-XCell, a custom-built biotechnology park and ecosystem, in Iskandar Malaysia, at Johor state of Malaysia.

Announcing the details at a project commencement ceremony, Biocon chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, said, ''This facility will cater to the global requirements for Biocon's range of Biosimilar insulin and insulin analogs for diabetes treatment, being commercialised by Pfizer Inc.''

The project will also focus on research and development and production of other biopharmaceutical products at a later phase. The plant will be built in compliance with US FDA cGMP standards.

Biocon signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation SdnBhd (BiotechCorp) to establish the facility in Bio-XCell Malaysia on 22 January 2010. The decision to invest in this initiative was driven by Malaysia's strategic location, the country's growing role as a rapidly developing global biotech hub, and the enabling Bio-XCell Ecosystem which offers comprehensive support through high end infrastructure, human resource and related services.

''Bio-XCell completes the infrastructure that we have built for the biotechnology industry. The soft infrastructure through the BioNexus programme is an attractive proposition for both local and foreign companies. Bio-XCell, with its focus on manufacturing and R&D, provides the hard infrastructure – conducive space and services specifically for biopharma, healthcare and industrial biotechnology players.''

''Biocon's entry into Bio-XCell will further stimulate growth for the sector, providing commercial opportunities for Malaysian biotechnology's small and medium enterprises and promote a more vigorous domestic direct investment,'' said Dato Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal, chairman of Bio-XCell and CEO of BiotechCorp.