KUALA LUMPUR , Malaysia , 20 October, 2004 – Malaysian bioinformatics company, Synamatix Sdn Bhd has announced today the establishment of Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Sdn Bhd (MGRC) and its planned initiative in providing a bioinformatics ASP (Application Service Provider) service (zoomagene.com) for life scientists and researchers worldwide. As part of this, an announcement was also made on a strategic alliance between the Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDC), Hewlett-Packard Sales (M) Sdn Bhd, Synamatix Sdn Bhd and MGRC in establishing Malaysia ‘s first globally accessible Bioinformatics Benchmarking Centre. HP will supply the necessary hardware, including the latest HP Integrity servers running Itanium 2 processors powering Synamatix technologies (SynaSUITE). The Centre will be used to evaluate the performance of bioinformatics technologies against global industry standards. These key events represent important steps towards the development of bioinformatics technologies within the Multimedia Super Corridor and establishing Malaysia at the forefront of biotechnology development for the Asia Pacific region.
The milestone announcements were made at an industry and press event officiated by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) YB Dato’ Dr. Jamaludin b Dato’ Mohd Jarjis in Kuala Lumpur . Distinguished guests included YBhg Datuk Dr. Mohamed Arif Nun, CEO of MDC and YBhg Tengku Dato’ Dr. Mohd. Azzman Shariffadeen, Chairman of Encipta Ltd (Investment arm of MIMOS). The event was also graced by industry leaders including Prof. Ernest Feytmans, Head of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (one of the world’s foremost bioinformatics institutions) as part of his official visit to HP (M) and Synamatix Sdn Bhd.
In his opening speech YB Minister, Dato’ Jamaludin Jarjis said ” Malaysia has made significant advancements in the development of biotechnology industries [including bioinformatics and biodiversity exploitation] since 2001.” The release of Synamatix’s SynaSUITET and its global acceptance as a breakthrough technology for genetic data management and analysis as well as the establishment of MGRC and the Bioinformatics Benchmarking Centre is validation of the progress made in recent years.
At the event, Dr. Arif Anwar, VP of Synamatix Sdn Bhd, spoke of the strong support the company has received under the auspices of the Malaysian Government (MOSTI) in the form of investment via Encipta Ltd. (investment arm of MIMOS) and as a grant recipient of RM2.86 million from MDC’s MSC Grant Scheme (MGS). As emphasized by YBhg Datuk Dr. Arif Nun, “such mechanisms are put in place by the Malaysian Government to provide the necessary infrastructure to support and facilitate growth in high-tech industries. However in order to be effective and successful, it is in the end the private sector which must take the lead in R&D and global competitiveness.”
Since commencing its R&D operations in 2002, Synamatix has been successful in developing the world’s first structured network database system for storage and ultra-high-throughput analysis of biological data. Synamatix claims to have outperformed some of the world’s most powerful (and expensive) supercomputers and computing clusters. The company is now in partnership discussions with some of the leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies, universities and genomics research institutions in the US and European markets.
As part of a new initiative by Synamatix, MGRC has been established with the primary objective of providing much needed ultra-high-throughput analysis tools (powered by SynaSUITE) to individual life scientists and researchers around the world. Comparable technologies tend to be priced in the vicinity of millions (USD) and therefore are out of reach for the majority of scientists working in academia, institutions and biotech SMEs (small to medium size enterprises). The primary focus is to empower scientists, via a cost effective ASP model (zoomagene.com), with the capabilities of accelerating discovery and de novo research. MGRC will also conduct and publish its own genomics research and will collaborate with industry research partners on certain projects.
A key step in advancing MGRC (zoomagene.com), as it is for any new bioinformatics product and service, is performance benchmarking against industry standards. This need has resulted in the proposed establishment of a Bioinformatics Benchmarking Centre, which will utilise the MSC Innovation Centre and Hewlett-Packard industry know-how in the testing and benchmarking of Synamatix technologies. Bioinformatics Benchmarking will be part of the services offered by Solutions Assessment and Development Centre (SADC) at MSC Innovation Centre. SADC, a fully furnished test facility ready with network and communication infrastructure, proven test methodology and stringent quality measures for testing applications will subsequently offer benchmarking services to the wider global life sciences market. This collaboration, initiated with an official signing ceremony between YBhg Datuk Dr Arif Nun, CEO of MDC, Mr. TF Chong, Managing Director of HP (M), and Mr. Robert Hercus, Founder and Managing Director of Synamatix and MGRC, marks a significant step forward towards industry and government collaboration in biotechnology in Malaysia.
The Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd is responsible for driving the development of Malaysia Knowledge industries under the auspices of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). MSC is Malaysia ‘s comprehensive ICT and Multimedia initiative bridging together the realms of ecology and technology set to revolutionise the nation’s approach in developing its industries. Development of MSC has been planned over three phases commencing with its launch in 1996 and culminating in 2020 with Malaysia being firmly established as a model of leadership in the Information Age, in line with the government’s Vision 2020.
MSC is a test-bed area with outstanding infrastructure encompassing the Kuala Lumpur International Airport , the two “intelligent” cities of Cyberjaya and Putrajaya, the technology test-beds of Technology Park Malaysia , UPM-MTDC, KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC). MSC is also an integrated logistics hub with its most recent infrastructure initiative being the establishment of BioValley, a biotech cluster situated in Cyberjaya.
The MSC Innovation Centre, located at the heart of the MSC, serves to encourage continuous innovation of flagship applications. It is the central knowledge hub and common meeting place for participants of the innovation cycle, i.e. researchers, developers, inventors, vendors and users.
The MSC Innovation Centre comprises two facilities, namely MSC Lab and Creative Applications & Development Centre (CADC)
The MSC Lab contains three components to support and sustain the product innovation life cycle.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the fiscal year ending on July 31, 2004 , HP revenue totalled US$78.4 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
About Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Sdn Bhd
Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Sdn Bhd was incorporated on 18 th May 2004 with a specific focus of establishing an ASP Bioinformatics service (zoomagene.com, powered by SynaSUITE technologies) for ultra-high-throughput analysis of biological data. The service will be offered on a subscription basis to individual life scientists and researchers worldwide. MGRC will also conduct and publish its own research and collaborate with industry partners on certain projects.