AstraZeneca to invest RM500 million in Malaysia
AstraZeneca has announced plans to invest over US$125 million (RM500 million) in Malaysia over the next 5 years, with a focus on patient-centred innovation, local talent development and new robotic and cognitive technologies.
“We’re pleased to expand our presence in Malaysia with this investment,” said Marc Dunoyer, AstraZeneca’s chief financial officer. “This location has many advantages including a sophisticated business ecosystem and business-friendly policies, well-developed infrastructure and a robust multilingual talent pool with medical, HR and IT engineering qualifications. We expect to employ 600 people by 2023, almost all of whom will be Malaysian.”
As part of its 5-year plan, the company recently opened a new headquarters in Kuala Lumpur which will act as a shared services hub for local and global business operations including finance, accounting and procurement. The hub will be one of three global locations, with the others located in Costa Rica and Poland.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Dr Ong Kian Ming officiated the opening of the new headquarters, witnessed by Swedish ambassador Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt and acting British high commissioner David Thomas. Accompanying them were AstraZeneca’s country president Allen Patino, AstraZeneca Asia’s senior vice president Jo Feng, Dunoyer, and InvestKL CEO Datuk Zainal Amanshah.
At the same event, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between InvestKL and AstraZeneca was also signed by Zainal and Patino to mark future collaborations between the company and InvestKL on areas of innovation, talent development and healthcare partnerships from 2019 to 2023.
“We are pleased that after almost four decades, AstraZeneca continues to place confidence in Malaysia as a hub,” said Zainal. He added that InvestKL would also be working with various universities to build the local talent pool to support AstraZeneca’s regional work.
In a press conference following the launch, Dunoyer noted that the company would remain focused on pharmaceutical research and development, particularly in areas of oncology, cardiovascular health, renal metabolism and respiratory health. He added that of the company’s US$22.1 billion revenue in 2018, US$5.9 billion had been invested in research and development.
At the same press conference, Patino added that AstraZeneca has conducted 18 clinical trials in Malaysia in collaboration with NGOs and healthcare providers to improve diagnosis rates and treatment outcomes for various conditions. These included improved breast and lung cancer testing, early access for cancer immunotherapies, support for GPs in cardiovascular and metabolic disease screening, and asthma awareness and management expertise.
“AstraZeneca has built strong portfolios in medical education, diagnostics, research, disease prevention activities and various programmes to increase affordability and access to innovative medicines,” said Patino. “We are planning close collaborations with our partners to explore digital transformation in the management of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and cancer in Malaysia.”