News From : DagangHalal.com (28 Sep 2009)
HOLISTA Biotech Sdn Bhd, a local biotechnology company, expects to register about RM20 million in sales this year, driven by its existing range of products.
“Holista Colltech Australia Ltd is not yet in a place to give so significant a revenue boost to the group. (But) next year (its contribution) should be more,” Holista Colltech chief executive officer Datuk Dr M. Rajen told Business Times recently.
Holista Colltech is the product of a reverse takeover exercise on Colltech Australia Ltd by Holista Biotech, which was initiated last year. Colltech holds the patent for the process of extracting collagen from sheepskin.
The deal, which was worth A$10 million (RM30 million), was completed on July 13 2009.
“The important thing to remember is that we were already in the collagen business before Colltech, through one of our products called Bonex, which was quite successful in the market,” Rajen said.
There were, however, two issues concerning the product, which had prompted Holista Biotech to shop around for alternative collagen sources.
Firstly, the collagen it was using was from bovine (cow), which was not culturally accepted by certain religions and also the question of whether the bovine used was halal or not.
“While we had obtained a halal certification from Germany, one of the few places providing the certification, there were still doubts,” Rajen said.
Holista Colltech managed to raise some A$2.5 million (RM7.5 million) in a private placement to investors in Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and Singapore last week, despite having to contend with a lacklustre market.
“The current economic climate is tough, but we were enthused by the reception for the private placement, and we could have raised more money but decided to close the placement as we had raised the amount we needed,” Rajen said.
The private placement was to raise money to expand its existing production capability and develop more new technologies.
Rajen said while there would be more need for funds in the future, it would not need to raise any more this year.
On the development of its collagen products, Rajen said the company would be focusing on rolling out its food-based collagen products first, due to its shorter turnaround time and the bigger market for the products.
“The development of collagen products for the medical and cosmetics industries will take a fair amount of time. Therefore, we are currently focusing on the production of food-based collagen such as collagen drinks,” Rajen said.