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US-based pharmaceutical giant to open US$315m plant in S'pore

Publication Date : 07-02-2014


United States pharmaceutical giant AbbVie has announced a US$320 million (S$400 million) investment to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore, its first in Asia.

The facility will be used to make drugs it is developing, and will create 250 jobs, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company said on Thursday.

The location of the facility has yet to be determined, but it is scheduled to be up and running by 2019.

Dr Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, senior vice-president of AbbVie Operations, said Singapore was an ideal location as "the fastest-growing biological hub in Asia" with a good track record of obtaining global regulatory approval for new drugs.

Esteban Plata, vice-president of AbbVie's Japan, Asia-Pacific region, cites the stable environment, highly educated population and the collaborative approach of the local au-thorities as key factors making Singapore an attractive location for the facility.

Singapore will join AbbVie's manufacturing network, which includes 12 sites across the United States, Europe and Puerto Rico.

AbbVie hopes to make use of the new facility to support its developmental pipeline products for global markets.

Along with selling the popular arthritis drug Humira, it is also developing new treatments for cancer, liver disease and hepatitis C.

The investment will set up AbbVie's first campus combining biologics and small molecule active drug substance manufacturing. Biologics involves making drugs from biological material rather than chemicals.

"Singapore will continue to invest in process development capabilities and new manufacturing technologies," said Kevin Lai, director of Biomedical Sciences and Consumer Businesses of the Economic Development Board.

"AbbVie's decision... is testament to the strong propositions that Singapore has built up over the years in our biomedical sciences manufacturing sector."

Employment in Singapore's biomedical manufacturing sector has grown over the past 13 years, from 6,000 to 16,700, and the biologics industry is anticipated to create another 700 to 1,000 jobs in Singapore, Lai said.

AbbVie's investment would add to Singapore's eight other biologics manufacturing facilities.

The company already has 120 personnel in Singapore.

The US-based multi-billion-dollar company separated from Abbot last year, and now has products sold in more than 170 countries.

The company has research and development facilities in Tokyo and Shanghai.


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