Solid enquiries for Malaysia's Bio-Xcell at BIO Chicago 2010

CHICAGO: The aggressive efforts to promote Malaysia's Bio-Xcell including during the world largest biotechnology gathering here are paying dividends.

The response received for the biotechnology ecosystem and park in Iskandar Malaysia is encouraging and as a result, the enquiries would have to be filtered down to find suitable companies that fit within the ecosystem.

It was after the filtering down exercise that Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) and Bio-Xcell now conducting evaluation on 10 multinationals.

"We have many enquiries. We have to filter them down to see whether they fit within the Bio-Xcell ecosystem objectives. We are comfortable with the 10 and are evaluating them," said BiotechCorp CEO and Bio-Xcell Chairman Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood.

He was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 2010 BIO International Convention on Wednesday, May 5. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organisation, the four-day event at Chicago's McCormick Place ends Thursday, May 6.

Iskandar said the encouranging response reflected Bio-Xcell's very clear value proposition.

"The development of a complete ecosystem is important to both multinationals and local companies, not only from the perspective of suitability but also costing.

"Biotechnology is also about business. What makes economic sense will prevail," he said.

At its global launch on Tuesday, May 4, Bio-Xcell had signed agreements with Glycos Biotechnology Inc of the US and Switzerland's MGM Ingredients AG.

Glycos specialises in biotech feedstock technology and aims to convert palm-oil biomass into high value chemicals and by-products, while MGM Ingredients converts by-products in the agriculture industry to create staple foods with improved nutritional value.

Bio-Xcell, a premier biotechnology ecosystem, is being developed on a 60:40 joint-venture basis between BiotechCorp and UEM Land Bhd.

It comprises the development of a supportive biotechnology ecosystem around targeted strategic anchor tenants to undertake operations geared towards expediting the industry's growth.

At the global launch also, Bio-Xcell and General Electric International Inc (GE) entered into a memorandum of collaboration for the provision of strategic infrastructure for the ecosystem, particularly the development of centralized utility facilities within the park.

Iskandar said the collaborative approach with GE would not be limited to the development of hard facilities in the ecosystem but also in other aspects such as to tap into the wider network of GE Healthcare and funding through GE's financial arm.

He said BiotechCorp would continue seeking collaboration with others to move the country's biotechnology industry forward since "no particular company or country can do everything on its own."

"The key thing is fitting in within a wider value chain, figuring out where we are good at and placing ourselves within the value. That's the key to success for Malaysia's biotechnology industry," he said. -- Bernama

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