Pharma R&D hub gets ecozone status

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    The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is looking at the development of more medical-pharmaceutical industrial parks that will lead innovation in these fields.

    This after President Duterte on Jan. 11, 2021 issued Proclamation No. 1070  granting special economic zone status to the P570-million First Bulacan Business Park (FBBP) , the first pharmaceutical ecozone registered with  PEZA.

    Charito Plaza, PEZA director-general, said in addition to the existing medical tourism guidelines, the agency is looking to explore  new types of ecozones  such as biomedical innovative centers to host leading biotechnology companies and Philippine startups  including pharmaceuticals.

    PEZA said Philstar Marketing Development Inc. (PMDI) will develop FBBP as a medical research and development (R&D) pharmaceutical park in Malolos, Bulacan, the first mixed-use ecozone in the  province. PMDI is also the developer of the adjacent First Bulacan Industrial City (FBIC) , which was established in the 1990s as a pharma park and home to 16 pharma-related companies such as Lloyd Laboratories, Pascual Laboratories, Cargill Philippines and Cosmetique Asia.

    FBBP has received inquiries from a Saudi Arabian investor to locate in the area.  Existing locators of FBIC seeking expansion can also be accommodated.

    FBBP is envisioned to be a premier ecozone in the country that will host medical R&D in partnership with the academe and research institutions, manufacture of innovative, over-the-counter and generic drug products, medical instruments/equipment, and pharma cold chain,

    FBBP will pattern the pharma park to those in India, Thailand and Singapore  using smart technologies and renewable source of power.

    FBBP can also provide the redundant site or expansion area for at least 14 global pharma companies  in the Philippines, which are mostly located in Metro Manila.