A trio of pharma giants partner with scientists in Singapore for biologics manufacturing

SINGAPORE — GSK, Sanofi, and Takeda are set to collaborate with researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), NTUitive and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to boost biologics and vaccine manufacturing expertise in the country.

The goal of the partnership is to leverage research and innovation to boost biologics manufacturing in Singapore, including recombinant therapeutic proteins and vaccines, the group said in a Dec. 6 press release.

This collaboration will be validated through the consortium, Biologics Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore (BioPIPS), initiated by A*STAR with the Singapore Economic Development Board’s (EDB) support.

BioPIPS plans to utilize research and innovation to enhance the biologics manufacturing expertise of Singapore, which comprises recombinant therapeutic proteins and vaccines.

Through the consortium, leading industry specialists and the research ecosystem of Singapore will join forces to boost manufacturing productivity, enhance operational efficiency and attain sustainability goals.

Additionally, BioPIPS intends to equip the country’s biologics production expertise for launching new products and manufacturing technologies.

The solutions created through BioPIPS will also boost the country’s capacity for meeting the rising demand for biologics and vaccines throughout the world.

It will also provide pharmaceutical firms in Singapore with the resources needed for expanding and responding quickly to pandemics in the future.

Sanofi EVolutive Facility site head Koh Liang Hong said: “Sanofi is building a next-generation manufacturing site, the EVolutive Facility, in Singapore, which will bring advanced digital and modular vaccine production capabilities to the Asia region.

In November, A*STAR and RVAC Medicines entered a master research collaboration agreement to develop solutions for building mRNA manufacturing and analytics expertise in the country.

Singapore’s Manufacturing 2030 vision aims to anchor leading manufacturing activities to grow the country’s manufacturing value-add by 50% from 2020.

The group hopes the efforts will boost the country’s capabilities to meet the growing global demand for biologics and vaccines as well as equip pharmaceutical companies with the resources to scale up and respond more rapidly to future pandemics.

Singapore has long been a major hub for pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing, and that commitment does not appear to be relinquishing anytime soon.

Merck opened a new secondary packaging facility in October and broke ground on a separate facility to manufacture next-generation inhalers. The two manufacturing sites are part of a larger US$500 million investment by the company to expand medicine and vaccine production in Singapore over a five-year period.

WuXi Biologics announced in July that it will expand its research, development, and large-scale drug substance and drug product manufacturing capacity and capabilities in Singapore, marking the company’s 10-year, US$1.4 billion investment plan.

BioNTech also announced last month that its Singapore-based affiliate, BioNTech Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., had reached an agreement with Novartis to acquire a GMP manufacturing facility in the country, with the goal of expanding its Asian footprint.

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