AstraZeneca to invest $1.5 billion in Singapore net zero antibody facility

Image: AstraZeneca

22 May 2024 | Muriel Cozier

‘Singapore is one of the world’s most attractive countries for investment given its reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing.’

AstraZeneca is planning to build a facility to produce antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) in Singapore. The greenfield facility, which will see AstraZeneca invest $1.5 billion and is slated for startup in 2029, is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board. The plant will be the company’s first ‘end-to-end’ ADC production site incorporating all steps of the manufacturing process at commercial scale.

AstraZeneca added that as part of its commitment to driving sustainability in healthcare, it will work with Singapore’s government, and other partners, on green solutions for the planned production unit. Design and construction of the facility, which the company says will be net-zero, will begin at the end of 2024.

Sir Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO said: ‘Singapore is one of the world’s most attractive countries for investment given its reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing, and I am excited for AstraZeneca to locate our $1.5 billion ADC manufacturing facility in the country.’

Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, Png Cheong Boon added: ‘This greenfield investment is a strong show of confidence in Singapore’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and talent, strengthens our ecosystem in supporting the development and manufacturing of precision medicines, and creates meaningful jobs and economic opportunities for Singapore.’

AstraZeneca has built a portfolio of industry-leading cancer medicines including ADCs, which have shown great potential to replace traditional chemotherapy. The production of ADCs is a multistep process that comprises antibody production, synthesis of chemotherapy drug and linker, conjugation of drug linker to the antibody, and filling of the completed substance. ADCs are next-generation treatments that deliver highly potent cancer-killing agents to cancer cells through a targeted antibody.

In March this year the UK government announced that AstraZeneca would be investing a total of £650 million to research, develop and manufacture vaccines in Liverpool as well as expand facilities in Cambridge.

Pascal Soriot was awarded SCI’s President’s Medal in April 2024, in recognition of his role accelerating scientific innovation and for leading the company’s global covid-19 vaccination programme.

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