Sengenics, a genomics and proteomics-based research and diagnostics company, announced today the opening of a new DNA sequencing and microarray facility in Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The new facility comes in response to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalamâ€™s initiative to accelerate biotechnology related R&D activities in the country. The total joint investment made by Sengenics and the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) will exceed eleven million US dollars over the next two years.
The ceremony today was officiated by Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Awang Haji Jamain Bin Haji Julaihi, Permanent Secretary (Downstream and Power) at the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office as the personal representative of the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office and Chairman of the Brunei Research Council (BRC), Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col. (Rtd.) Dato Seri Setia (Dr.) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar. Also present at the ceremony were BEDB, UBD and Sengenics management.
Sengenics will focus upon two core activities from its new facility in Brunei. Firstly, the company will offer commercial services leveraging its patented Immunomeâ„¢ autoantibody profiling platform and the ExoMAXâ„¢ clinical genomics diagnosis pipeline. Secondly, in collaboration with UBD and supported by BEDB through the Brunei Research Incentive Scheme (BRISc), Sengenics will embark upon two novel Halal meat and food related research and commercialisaton projects.
Sengenics Executive Director Dr. Arif Anwar said, â€œPivotal factors for choosing Brunei included its strategic location in Asia combined with the countryâ€™s political and economic stability; BEDBâ€™s facilitation, taxation and incentive schemes to foster and enhance biotechnology research and commercialisation; as well as the ease of finding highly qualified and skilled personnel. He concluded by saying, â€œOf particular interest was Bruneiâ€™s strategy to position itself as an internationally renowned Halal brand. We strongly believe that Sengenics can contribute novel ideas and develop innovative commercial products to economically complement Bruneiâ€™s Halal Hub strategy.â€
Over recent years, UBD has placed itself in the forefront of research and development in the nation with innovative inventions in the field of energy studies, biodiversity and food security with commercialisation values for its novel inventions and techniques. This collaboration will open more opportunities for knowledge and skill transfer between UBD and Sengenics to produce breakthrough research and development in the region.
UBD Assistant Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Professor David Koh said: â€œUniversity-industry partnerships have long been viewed as one of the main drivers of innovation in an economy. We welcome this great opportunity for UBD and Sengenics to cross-learn and collaborate in applied research projects utilising cutting-edge genomics and proteomics technologies.â€
â€œIndustrialisation is important for economic development and growth and we see Sengenics as a strategically powerful fit to spearhead scientific R&D in Brunei and act as a catalyst to attract other technology providers to collaborate with us. This opens up new job opportunities, expand skills, and establish knowledge transfer between industry and academiaâ€, said Yang Mulia Dyg Hjh Hasnah binti Hj Ibrahim, Acting Chief Executive Officer of BEDB.
Sengenics is a genomics and proteomics-based research and diagnostics company, with a range of patented technologies and products that are marketed to pharmaceutical companies, scientists and hospitals. Its flagship technology is the patented Immunomeâ„¢ auto-antibody profiling platform which was spun out from research that was commercialised as a joint collaboration between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in 1996. It also has additional patented and proprietary products for Human diseases that use the ThalaSUREâ„¢ and Genoverseâ„¢ brand names. To date Sengenics has carried out the highest number of clinical genomics tests on children with developmental delay in Asia. This has been commercialised into GalaxCâ„¢, which is the largest commercial database of human disease mutations in Asia. GalaxCâ„¢ can be accessed free of charge by existing customers.
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