Novartis is expanding its already ambitious investment program in Singapore. In tandem with the opening of a new pharmaceutical tableting facility there last week, the Swiss drug giant revealed plans to spend $700 million on a biopharmaceuticals plant making clinical and commercial quantities of monoclonal antibodies. Construction on the cell-culture plant, its biggest to date, will begin early next year and should be complete by late 2012, creating 300 new jobs. Once operational, the plant will support Novartis' pipeline of biologics, which now represent 25% of its overall drugs in development. Novartis' first big push into Singapore was in 2001 with the opening of a research center focused on discovering small molecules to treat tropical diseases. The tableting plant will make existing Novartis drugs, such as Diovan and Tekturna, for the U.S. and Japanese markets. Novartis joins a growing list of companies situating their new biopharmaceuticals plants in Singapore. In the past two years, GlaxoSmithKline started construction on a vaccines facility there, while Lonza invested in two commercial-scale mammalian cell-culture facilities, one to be dedicated to the production of Genentech products.