Malaysia has steadily been working to establish itself in the global biotech industry through government and private enterprise efforts. The future heart of the Malaysian biotech industry will be BioValley, a biotech zone south of Kuala Lumpur. To date, the government has invested $26 million in BioValley and it is expected to be operational by 2009. Another component of Malaysia’s biotech development is the BioNexus initiative, which seeks to coordinate and improve Malaysia’s universities, laboratories and research institutes. The initiative also supports selected domestic and international biotech firms with funding, tax incentives and access to equipment and research facilities. Springhill Biotech Ventures, Malaysia’s first biotech venture capital fund, was founded in 2003 with $30 million in assets and the backing of Malaysia’s investment organization, Khazanah Nasional. In 2006, the Malaysian Life Science Capital Fund was established and is valued at $200 million, with $43.6 million in government funding. Malaysia accounts for 80% of the global production of palm oil, so agricultural biotech to improve oil products and to create biodiesel is an area of focus. Other prominent biotech endeavors include herbal preparations and monoclonal antibodies.

Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

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