Issue Date: November 1, 2007
Novartis Invests More In Singapore
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 manufacturing plant.
Construction on the cell-culture plant, the firm's 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. Specifically, the plant will make clinical and commercial quantities of monoclonal antibodies to treat diseases ranging from arthritis to cancer to spinal cord injury.
Novartis' first big push into Singapore was in 2001 with the opening of a research center focused on discovering and developing small molecules to treat tropical diseases. The recently inaugurated tableting plant, expected to be fully operational in 2009, 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 manufacturing facility there, while Lonza invested in two commercial-scale mammalian cell-culture facilities, one to be dedicated to the production of Genentech products.
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