Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 7, 2007

Local biotech firms to get much-needed boost

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:03 am

NST: STEM-CELL research and development in Malaysia will be given a boost with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the country’s lead development agency for the biotechnology industry, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd (Biotech Corp), and the Manipal Education and Medical Group International of India today.
It will be done on the sidelines of BIO 2007, the world’s largest annual biotechnology convention and exhibition, here.
Both chairmen — Tan Sri Ahmad Zaharuddin Idrus for Biotech Corp and Dr Ramdas Pai for Manipal Group — are expected to be the signatories.
Under the MoU, a Manipal Group subsidiary will be established in Malaysia to spearhead stem-cell research.
This is one of a flurry of MoUs that will be concluded between Malaysian biotechnology companies and foreign partners at BIO 2007, and witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is leading the 350-strong Malaysian delegation to the convention.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis, commenting on Friday on the large number of MoUs to be inked, had said that it augured well for the development of the biotechnology industry in Malaysia.
He said serious efforts were being made to attract local and foreign investments into the sector and in developing Malaysia as a serious player in the field.
Biotech Corp will also sign two MoUs with Avesta Gengraine Technologies Pte Ltd and Avesta Biotherapeutics & Research Pte Ltd of India.
On Saturday, it signed one with the organiser of BIO 2007, the Biotechnology Industry Organisation, to enhance Malaysia’s image as a biotechnology hub in Asia and to demonstrate its commitment to put in place an economic, political and policy framework in Malaysia to realise this aim.
Malaysian company Inno Biologics will strike a partnership with three companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH of Germany, one of the world’s top leading pharmaceutical companies involved in developing, manufacturing and marketing human pharmaceuticals and animal health products.
The other MoUs are between Jamaluddin’s ministry and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the development of science and technology for the manufacturing of bio-plastics in Malaysia; Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre and 454 Life Sciences Corporation of USA; and 1st Global Biotech Sdn Bhd Malaysia and Biozyme Technology Corporation, Taiwan’s largest herbal enzyme manufacturer.
Kedah BioResources Corporation Sdn Bhd will sign two MoUs with the Korean Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology and Insect Biotech Co.
Another MoU signing to take place tomorrow is between Felda and Twin Rivers Technologies over the feasibility of Felda Holdings Berhad acquiring a controlling stake of North America’s fastest growing oleo-chemical supplier.

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