Novartis is to plough over $500 million into the construction of a new cell culture-based biomanufacturing plant in Singapore, sited alongside its existing pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Tuas. Construction of the new biologics plant is scheduled to start early next year, and it is expected to become fully operational by 2016. The facility will support clinical and commercial production of products including monoclonal antibodies.
The investment will support along-term strategy to establish a worldwide manufacturing network of technology centers of excellence, Novartis claims. “This investment further strengthens our strategy to establish key strategic sites based on technological competencies,” comments Joseph Jimenez, CEO. “Singapore will be strengthened through a new state-of-the-art facility for biotechnology, which is a growing segment of our business. We have chosen Singapore as a strategic supply point as it offers a wide range of advantages due to its strong local biomedical presence and knowledge, skilled labor, as well as proximity to growth markets in Asia.”
Novartis’ existing operations in Singapore include the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, the Novartis Asia-Pacific head offices, two production facilities for its Alcon business, and a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.