Pharmaceutical companies strengthen their presence in Asia

Singapore sees major investments from BioNTech and GSK.

BioNTech Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific is strengthening its presence in Asia, with a deal to acquire one of Novartis Singapore Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s GMP-certified production facilities. The facility will serve as BioNTech’s regional headquarters and become the company’s first mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore. The facility is expected to be fully operational during late 2023, and provide more than 100 jobs.

‘The acquisition gives us the opportunity to accelerate the establishment of a state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facility and thus to create capacity more quickly for potential clinical studies and commercial supply of our mRNA vaccine and therapeutics for the region,’ said Dr Sierk Poetting, Chief Operating Officer BioNTech.

The facility will initially be equipped to manufacture a range of mRNA-based product candidates, as well as authorised vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases. This may include BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, as well as oncology product candidates if successfully developed and approved or authorised by regulatory authorities. The company has said that the newly acquired facility will create regional manufacturing capacity in support of its ‘growing pipeline of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics across the Asia Pacific region.’

In a separate development, GSK has opened a S$44 million high-potency facility (HPF) and laboratory in Jurong, Singapore. The HPF will be used to produce a cytotoxic component of antibody drug conjugates for treating cancer. The facility is said to be the first in Singapore capable of producing such an ingredient for immunotherapy cancer treatments.

GSK said that with the addition of the HPF it has strengthened the capabilities of its Jurong site as a New Product Introductions site, to speed up new product launch. The facility will also help meet growing demand for oncology treatments around the world.

GSK President Global Supply Chain, Regis Simard, said: ‘With new capabilities to handle high-potency components effectively, we are in a good position to explore new frontiers in oncology and embark on a new era of manufacturing and delivering breakthrough cancer treatments.’

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