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Zenotec Biotech To Invest RM3.06 Million in Collagen Wound Healing Management

KUALA LUMPUR, JAN. [30/31] – Zenotec Biotechnology Sdn Bhd, a new start-up specializing in biotechnology and life sciences development, will be investing some RM3.06 million for the development of its collagen wound healing management product specially designed for glaucoma and diabetes patients.

The tissue repair engineering and wound healing technology by Zenotec Biotechnology, which started operations in October last year, is believed to be the first of its kind ever developed in the Asean region.

The company is among some 20 local and foreign incubatees at Technology Park Malaysia’s (TPM) Biotech Incubation Centre in Kuala Lumpur where research and development (R&D) initiatives up to commercialization programmes for biotechnology and life sciences are being undertaken for new start-ups and bio-technopreneurs.

Zenotec Biotechnology managing director Mr. Marcus Tan said while the technology was acquired from a renowned Taiwanese inventor, further refining and enhancement of R&D will be undertaken here for the intellectual property to be patented in Malaysia.  

Tan said his company is expected to invest some RM3.06 million over four stages, from the pilot stage of setting up a pilot plant and further R&D on the acquired technology, which commenced in October last year, up to its commercialization targeted in June this year.

“Currently, we have invested more than RM1.0 million for the pilot plant, consultancy and raw materials and chemicals. By end of April, the pilot run of the collagen extraction should commence with another investment of RM1.0 million.

“The second stage involves feasibility study for project implementation, while the third stage will see the starting of production which is expected to be completed by June. The final stage is the commercialisation which is anticipated to begin from July onwards. All these initiatives will see another investment of slightly over RM1.06 million,” added Tan.  

The key reason that TPM Biotech Incubation Centre has been chosen as its choice platform said Tan, was because it is equipped with world-class life science facilities and had an excellent reputation of highly professional coaching programmes in guiding new start-ups. 

More importantly, added Tan, he foresees the need to leverage on the quality and integrity of TPM’s halal analysis and services which are essential for the penetration of overseas markets that require halal certification. “This will enable us to make Malaysia the regional hub to gain a wider outreach not only into the Asean markets, but also the potential to the entire Asia-Pacific region.”   

On the development of its bovine tendon-based collagen wound healing product, he explained that it was initially launched for glaucoma patients, which is currently being supplied to the Tun Hussein Onn hospital and two other eye specialist centres.

Based on the successful feedbacks received, Zenotec Biotechnology felt that it was timely to introduce the collagen diabetes wound dressing process.

The key target market will be government and private hospitals, clinics and target groups including surgeons, skin specialists and podiatrists.

The collagen diabetes wound dressing is a biodegradable porous collagen-glycosaminoglycan matrix which can enhance wound healing, reduce scar formation and wound contraction with comparable efficacy and proven safety without the use of medicine.

It is a well designed matrix needed to provide the structure that supports the cells and creates the environment for them to interact within the host tissue. At the same time, it stimulates the body own mechanism to promote local and controlled tissue repair and regeneration.

As for the commercialization potential of the collagen diabetes wound dressing, Tan expressed confidence that it offers bright prospects as the incidence of diabetes in the Asean region, according to the US Census Bureau (2004 -2008), involves some 29.8 million people. In Malaysia alone, the incidence of diabetes patients is about 1.4 million cases.

“On a conservative estimate the healthcare maintenance cost involving amputations or operations for diabetes patients is extremely expensive and could run into thousands of ringgit. With the collagen diabetes wound dressings, the cost is just a fraction of the total cost for amputations or operations. This could translate into millions of ringgit in savings for public healthcare, especially for the lower and middle income groups that seek public healthcare services.

“We are confident that our unique product will be acceptable not only in Malaysia, but throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Our initial target is the domestic market and thereafter we will expand our marketing networks into the Asean markets and to be followed by the Asia-Pacific region,” said Tan.

Under a four-year plan, Zenotec Biotechnology aims to achieve a turnover of RM1.8 million in 2014 and hopes to maintain an average annual growth of 20 per cent to hit a turnover of RM4.05 million by 2017.

Meanwhile, the company has also developed a hair rejuvenation product marketed under the brand name of “Hair Bon”. Marketed by its sister company, Zenotec Pharma Sdn Bhd, the product is currently experiencing brisk sales and being exported to The Philippines.

Zenotec Pharma, which was started four years ago, will be the marketing arm for all future products produced by Zenotec Biotechnology.

Among the current product brands in its stable are Zentril (a new formulation for joint pains); Zenpo – 9 (……………….); Natto Complex (herbal health product); Demaskin (cosmeceutical product) and Beucogen (beauty and skincare product).

Since its establishment, Zenotec Pharma has experienced tremendous growth of between 40% and 57% annually. Last year, it posted an annual turnover of RM3.2 million, a 68.4% jump from RM1.9 million recorded in 2011. For the current year, the company has targeted a growth of 50% in turnover of RM4.8 million.            

The TPM Biotechnology Incubation Centre was developed specifically to champion the development and growth of biotechnology at Technology Park Malaysia Kuala Lumpur.

Developed by Technology Park Malaysia Corporation Sdn Bhd, the 11,000 sq. ft. facility is equipped with comprehensive laboratory facilities for new start-ups to conduct their research and development (R&D) in life science and biotechnology.

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Date: January 23, 2013
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