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Bio-XCell’s first 3 tenants to invest RM300mil


CHICAGO: Bio-XCell, a biotechnology eco-system and park to be built in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, welcomed its first three tenants yesterday after sealing memoranda of agreement (MoA) with the respective companies in deals valued at a collective RM300mil.

“We expect their operations to start in 2012 or latest, by 2013,” Malaysian Biotechnology Bhd (BiotechCorp) CEO Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said.

The tenants are biotech feedstock technology firm Glycos Biotechnology Inc from the United States, agriculture-related MGM Ingredients AG from Switzerland and an India-based pharmaceutical company.

“These will be our mini anchor tenants. We expect to close three more deals involving platinum-status or main anchor tenants before the year-end,” Iskandar said.

He was speaking to Malaysian journalists after the global launch of Bio-XCell and the signing of MoA at the Bio Chicago 2010 convention here yesterday.

Bio-XCell is a tie-up between government agency BiotechCorp and UEM Land Holdings Bhd. The development, measuring some 70 acres, is expected to be completed by 2015.

Yesterday also saw a series of other significant milestones for BiotechCorp. Among these, it signed a memorandum of collaboration with General Electric International Inc (GE) for the latter to provide strategic infrastructure for the eco-system, particularly for the development of centralised utilities facilities within the park.

“The tie-up with GE may include the provision of life sciences and manufacturing equipment and potential investment into biotech-related innovation,” Iskandar said.

BiotechCorp also launched yesterday the country’s first biotechnology country report in collaboration with Ernst & Young.

“The report allows for benchmarking and tracking of the industry’s initiatives and development, identifies gaps in the implementation framework and allows us to identify key actions which must be put into place to ensure the success of initiatives towards commercialisation.”

It announced that Stempeutics Research Sdn Bhd, a BioNexus-status company with origin in India, would start conducting clinical trials, which include studying the safety of its new drug for patients with Ischemic Cerebral Stroke, after obtaining approvals from the Health Ministry.

It also revealed that Pakistan-based Getz Pharma was looking to invest about RM150mil in Malaysia for R&D and the production and commercialisation of biopharmaceutical products.

Getz Pharma was looking to acquire 15 acres of land in Enstek Tech Park, Negri Sembilan.

Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili expected the level of commercialisation of public research output in Malaysia to double to 10% in five years from 5% now, aided by the setting up of the National Innovation Centre.

Maximus, who witnessed the global launch and signing of the MoAs, said the ministry had prepared a paper on the proposed centre which would be tabled to the Cabinet by the end of this month.

Among the proposed centre’s objectives is to focus on public research output and ways to market it to generate wealth for the nation.

   

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