Cambodian conglomerate Royal Group of Companies (RGC) has entered into a joint venture (JV) with two Australian firms to collect plasma throughout Asia and build a new plasma fractionation facility in Singapore at a cost of $400 million to fractionate one million litres per year.

The partnership – signed on August 3 between RGC chairman Kith Meng, Fresh Start Australia Pty Ltd CEO Daniel Phillips, and professor Hari Nair, co-founder of Aegros – saw the establishment of JV firm Royal Group Plasma Fractionation.

According to RGC, Asia has a shortage of plasma products which is impacting the wellbeing of many individuals in the region.

The partnership is a significant step in the progress of health development and working towards a goal to provide ASEAN countries increased availability of plasma treatment products.

Plasma, which is extracted from blood, has many important health uses including cancer treatment and haemophilia management.

Kith Meng mentioned that the partnership is a pertinent milestone for the RGC as it enters into the health sector by participating in the collection of the plasma to serve the needs of the industry.

He said the JV company would collect plasma, build the plasma fractionation facility in Singapore as well as a fill and finish facility in Cambodia to bottle, package and distribute plasma products.

Fresh Start Australia CEO Phillips said the partnership allows the newly formed company to produce plasma products to supply for the needs of the people at an affordable price.

By using the new plasma fractionation technology called HaemaFracR, which was created by Aegros, life saving plasma products can be produced faster to supply a “grossly” undersupplied ASEAN market and at an affordable cost.

Phillips said the venture also helps to create new jobs in Singapore and Cambodia, contribute to new export income and taxes for Singapore, Cambodia and Australia, and place the Kingdom and the city-state on the regional health leadership stage.

Meanwhile, Aegros’ Hari Nair shared that his technology and intellectual property does not only change the way Australia undertakes plasma fractionation but also how plasma is fractionated globally.

“The deal represents Aegros’ first overseas expansion [and also] the world’s first use of plasma collected in Asia which cannot be processed by existing fractionators,” said Hari.

According to Aegros, the Asian market represents approximately 60 per cent of the world’s population but only accounts for some 30 per cent of the therapeutic plasma product sales, making it a grossly undersupplied market.