Biotechnology is the application of biological knowledge to the development of products that can improve various aspects of life such as health, food supply, environment and general well-being. Generally, Biotechnology can be categorize based on the activities namely, Biotechnology in Agriculture, Healthcare and Industrial.
Agricultural biotechnology is a collection of scientific techniques used to improve agricultural (plants, animals, microorganisms) productivity. Some of the uses of Agricultural Biotechnology are e.g. tissue culture, genetic engineering, molecular markers, molecular diagnostics, vaccines etc.
Healthcare Biotechnology is the used of recombinant technology to produce medicinal/ vaccine /diagnostic products via the living organisms. The knowledge is particularly useful for the mass production of complex biological molecules e.g. insulin that are unable to synthesis using conventional pharmaceutical techniques. Industrial Biotechnology uses enzymes produced by micro-organisms to make biobased products e.g. chemicals, food and feed, biosurfactants (detergents), paper and pulp, textiles and bioenergy (such as biofuels or biogas) etc. that can bring economic and environmental value.
The 10th Malaysia Plan has identified biotechnology as one of the main areas in developing knowledge economy status, while the National Biotechnology Policy says that biotechnology as “an enabling tool for advances in agriculture, healthcare and industry.” Companies with BioNexus status from Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation will enjoy the Tax Incentives for their Biotechnology related R&D activities.
Some of the Biotechnology Companies in Penang:
(Please note that this list is not comprehensive and does not include all the companies in Penang)
- Cerca Insights Sdn Bhd (http://www.cercainsights.com/)
Cerca Insights is a behavioral pharmacology Contract Research Organisation (CRO) that provides full range of SPF-rodent neurobehavioral screening services including proprietary and non-proprietary models.
- Allen Healthcare (www.ahpmy.com)
Develop rapid immunochromatographic devices for the diagnosis of numerous human conditions such as pregnancy, ovulation, fertility, as well as detection of drugs of abuse and rapid test for infectious disease.Elisa Test Kits for food safety testing.
- Esclapeus Genomics Sdn Bhd
Commercialization of genomic-based services and biomarkers for the personalized medicine and to undertake research and development activities.
- MAB Explorations Sdn Bhd
Develops monoclonal antibodies for research and diagnostics, focuses on the production of antibodies for diseases which currently lack treatment, e.g. Dengue and Enterovirus.
- Neopeutics Sdn Bhd
Early-stage drug-discovery contract research partner formed around the commercialisation of technology developed at UCSF/QB3 in California. In addition to CRO services, the company provides bioinformatics software and a drug screening technology package. Its primary services includes contract research for private and governmental regulatory agencies for industry, drug-discovery services, data analysis and interpretation, advisory services, value-added services and quality assurance services.
- Romer Labs Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Offers diagnostic products and services in the area of mycotoxins, food allergens, GMO and veterinary drug residues. The company also develops, produces and markets a range of standards, reference materials, and calibrants needed for analysis.