Updated on 14 May 2013
According to MIDA, total exports of pharmaceuticals from Malaysia in 2012 amounted to $299 million, mainly to ASEAN countries. Foreign investments constituted the bulk of investments in the pharmaceutical industry amounting to $70 million in 2012. The introduction of novel projects like biopharmaceuticals and vaccines will further spur the technological and research engines and will develop new and specific pharmaceutical product clusters, which will inturn encourage the development and manufacturing of niche pharmaceutical products.
Biotechnology is the growth engine in the global economy and Malaysia has shown potential to be a key biotechnology player in the global bioscience arena. The range of sectors under the scope of biotechnology is likely to diversify further in the future, driven by the continued development of new technologies across multiple fields of science, including cellular techniques, genetic engineering, structural molecular biology, bioinformatics and recombinant DNA technology.
With the establishment of Bio-XCell, a 161-acre biotechnology park in Malaysia providing world-class infrastructure to local and global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to execute their research and production more cost effectively as compared to its neighbouring country Singapore, Malaysia has been able to garner impressive investments.
India-headquartered Strides Acrolab's Malaysian subsidiary, Agila Biotech Malaysia, has signed a $34.4 million build-and-lease agreement with Malaysian Bio-XCell to establish a customized biotech facility in the Bio-XCell ecosystem. The project has in its pipeline substantial chunks of investments worth $80 million from firms like Biocon from India, Metabolic Explorer from France and GlycosBio from US.
Bio-XCell leverages on a public-private partnership to accelerate the development of a biotechnology ecosystem in Malaysia and provides an estimated 1.125 million square feet of purpose-built facilities for companies.
Analyzing the opportunities to establish operations in Malaysia, other companies too have invested in the country. European healthcare technology company Altran started its regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as part of its growth strategy to develop new business opportunities in Asia.