On the 5th January, Biotechnology entrepreneurship special training (BeST) program has held a field trip for its student to two bionexus companies under Biotech Corporation. Seventy five of us are divided into two groups where one group went to visit Inno Biologics Sdn Bhd (InnoBio) in Nilai and the other group went to Stella Gen Sdn Bhd in Gombak. I was sent to Inno Biologics with 36 others students. Arriving at InnoBio, we are given a brief introduction by Dr. Shivraj Dasari, the vice president of quality management and regulatory affairs. InnoBio main goal is to drive and advance biology business ventures for the nation’s economic growth. One of their aim is to encourage entrepreneurs among Malaysian. InnoBio is divided into three branches that are InnoBio biologics, InnoBio diagnosis and InnoBio innovation centre. InnoBio biologics specialises in mammalian cell culture technology and operates the state-of-the-art cGMP facility for the production of biopharmaceuticals. The facility is built to comply with European Medical Agency (EMEA) and United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory requirements. The main function of this company is to research, contract and manufacture. The contract includes operation for the development of therapeutic proteins. The company have obtained an award of biospectrum because of the emerging of the company in 2010. They also achieved major commercial milestone. The board of directors consist of Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zaharudin Idrus as the company’s chairman. There are 7 other board of directors that is Dato' Puteh Rukiah binti Abdul Majid, Dato' Dr. Muhamad Zohadie Bardaie, Datuk Dr. Megat Burhainuddin Megat Abdul Rahman, Dr. Kader Sultan Hj Ismail, Datuk Dr Ahmed Tasir bin Lope Pihie, Dato' Wan Adnan bin Wan Mamat and Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal.
InnoBio is listed as a Bio innovation centre where now it is in the growing phase 3 where they are trying to develop more young entrepreneur in Malaysia. This company mainly provide services such as contract research, antibody development, humanization services, cGMP manufacturing, cell line development, protein expression, yield improvement, cell banking, process development, analytics and also scale up from non cGMP to cGMP. As an innovation centre, it also provide incubator for new company and also provide a fully loaded lab for rental. Other core competencies is on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) where there are cell based diagnosis, cell based therapy and regenerative medicine. They also produce stem cell culture and differentiation and cell characterization. InnoBio also provide training, research, development and consultancy.
There are some differences between these two companies which are; InnoBio is speciallized in mammalian cell culture technology and operates the state-of-the-art cGMP facility for the production of biopharmaceuticals while Stella Gen Sdn Bhd speciallized in producing probiotics for animal health especially chicken. InnoBio Sdn Bhd offer services to other companies while Stella Gen involve in producing products. InnoBio offers services such as cell line development, antibody services, process development, cGMP biomanufacturing, training and contract research. Compared to InnoBio, Stella Gen producing products such as probiotics for chickens and process healthy chicken that have been given name Stellachicken. Not only that, InnoBio is a big and well established company compared to Stella gen which is smaller and grown up company. InnoBio also has customer globally while Stella Gen still focusing in Malaysian market. This is because InnoBio is well known company since this company has started their operation since 2002 and they had many workers that work for them. Compared to InnoBio, Stella Gen is a new company and not really well established and they just started operating since 2008 although they have started doing research in 2003. They have only few people that work for them which only 5 workers in Research and Develpment Departmant. Other than that, Stella Gen has to put so much effort in marketing their products because they had competitors that producing antibiotic. InnoBio does not has so much competitors in Malaysia compared with Stella Gen.
I think InnoBio will be sustained for the next decades since its reputation and services are good and well known. They collaborated with many big players such as CEVEC Pharmaceuticals GmbH, a German company specialising in the development of therapeutic proteins using a newly developed expression system based on human amniocytes, they are the member of MIT-Centre for Biomedical Innovation Biomanufacturing Alliance, as its show of support for collaborative efforts to foster innovation within the drug industry. Next, they cooperate with Boehringer Ingelheim to have non-exclusive access to Boehringer Ingelheim’s comprehensive manufacturing technology platform for biopharmaceutical production and InnoBio signed an agreement to license technology from the Cuba’s Centre for Molecular Immunology (CIM) to reduce the human anti-mouse antibody (HAMA) response in patients receiving chimeric antibodies.
In a nutshell, InnoBio will have great opportunities and bright future since it has recognize worldwide for their best services that they offer. From this visit, I gained more knowledge and prepare myself for employment soon in this industry. I hope there will be more visit to other biotechnology company in future.