Biotech in Malaysia

In 2005, Malaysia established the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP) that aims to turn the biotechnology sector into one of the key economic drivers in the nation, contributing 5% of the nation’s GDP by 2020.

The NBP was designed to provide a comprehensive roadmap that would foster a conducive ecosystem for accelerated growth in the biotech industry. This has been implemented with three 5-year phases in mind.

Capacity Building

Phase I, 2005-2010

  • Establishment of the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, Advisory and Implementation Councils

  • Development of knowledge workers and job supply

  • Development of legal and IP framework

  • Building of Malaysian branding within the biotechnology industry

Science to Business

Phase II, 2011-2015

  • Development of local expertise

  • Development of new products

  • Technology acquisition and develop capability in technology licensing

  • Intensified investment promotion and branding

Global Presence

Phase III, 2016-2020

  • Consolidation of strengths and capabilities

  • Strengthen technology and innovation licensing

  • Further develop expertise

  • Promote global Malaysian companies

The NBP spells out nine key thrusts that underpin these aspirations, namely:

  • Agriculture Biotechnology Development

  • Healthcare Biotechnology Development

  • Industrial Biotechnology Development

  • R&D and Technology Acquisition

  • Human Capital Development

  • Financial Infrastructure Development

  • Legislative and Regulatory Framework Development

  • Strategic Positioning

  • Government Commitment

The National Biotechnology Division under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is responsible for steering the national agenda through Research & Development, Technology Development, and Promotion of Biotechnology programs.

This has led to the establishment of three National Biotechnology Institutes: the Malaysia Agro-Biotechnology Institute, Malaysia Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals, and the Malaysia Genome Institute.

The Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) was set up in 2005 as an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to execute the objectives of the NBP. Several initiatives, such as the BioNexus program for biotech start-ups have been implemented in order to realize various aspects of the NBP.

For more information on the BiotechCorp, please visit (

For more information on the National Biotechnology Policy please visit (



Connect with us