Novartis has decided to construct a new state-of-the-art biotechnology production site in Singapore with an investment valued at over $500 million.
The new facility will focus on drug substance manufacturing based on cell culture technology. It will be co-located with the pharmaceutical production site based in Tuas, Singapore. In the future, Singapore is expected to be a technological competence center for both biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturing at Novartis.
"This investment further strengthens our strategy to establish key strategic sites based on technological competencies,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. "We have chosen Singapore as 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."
The investment decision underlines the long-term strategy of Novartis to establish a worldwide manufacturing network of technology centers of excellence. The groundbreaking for the new production site is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013 while the new facility is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2016. The site will be designed to operate in a flexible manner to handle small and large scale volumes. It is planned to support both clinical and commercial production of potential new products that include monoclonal antibodies for use in helping patients with diseases in autoimmune, respiratory and oncology indications. The biologics pipeline currently accounts for 25% of the clinical pharmaceutical research pipeline with a trend for future growth.
Novartis has several operations in Singapore, including the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD), the Novartis Asia-Pacific head offices, two production facilities for Alcon as well as one pharmaceutical manufacturing site.