The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) revealed on 5 April 2021 that it has recently approved new projects in the field of advanced biotechnology worth a combined 2.4 billion baht (around $78 million) in investment, reflecting the increased interest of local and foreign investors in the country’s biotech sector.
“These new and exciting projects reflect investors’ continued interest in Thailand biotech capability,” Ms. Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI. “Adding to our strong agricultural base and biodiversity, Thailand has now also a very strong pool of researchers that allow us to move into advanced technology.”
Thai Kyowa Biotechnologies Co., Ltd., a producer of amino acids for pharmaceuticals affiliated to Japan’s Kirin Holdings, received approval for an advanced biotech project to produce Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO), a prebiotic and key ingredient in milk powder for infants and adults, helping to build immunity. The fully Japanese-owned company, located in Thailand’s eastern province of Rayong, expects HMO production to start in 2022, mainly for exports.
Genepeutic Bio Co., Ltd., a company established by doctors from the Ramathibodi hospital in Bangkok, and local investors, received approval for a project to develop and produce an innovative treatment for patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). The company, based in the Thailand Science Park, close to the country’s capital, was setup to develop CAR T Cell advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP).
Fruita Biomed Co., Ltd., a company related to Thailand’s Fruita Natural Co., Ltd., a food and beverage producer and exporter, received approval for a project to produce PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate) bioplastic and PHA bioplastic compound developed from organic waste. The company will use the PHA bioplastic to make a wide range of packaging products for food and medical supply as well.
Baiya Phytopharm, Co, Ltd., a Thai startup linked to the CU Innovation Hub, the incubator setup by Bangkok’s well known Chulalongkorn University, received approval for a project to develop and produce biopharmaceuticals, including plant-based vaccines and therapeutic proteins, using molecular pharming technology.
The biotechnology sector is part of the so-called BCG model (Bio, Circular and Green economy) which the Thai government has set as a priority to lead the post-Covid 19 recovery.