Baxter to add recombinant protein processing suite at Singapore plant

In the 11 years since the Singapore government created a biologics CMO to kickstart the local sector, a who's who of biopharma manufacturers have opened plants in the country. Baxter ($BAX) is among the latest to set up shop in Singapore and is already pushing ahead with expansion plans.

The Deerfield, IL-based drugmaker officially opened the Singapore facility--which supports the processing of hemophilia A treatment Advate--this week. At the ceremony, Baxter revealed plans to add a second recombinant protein processing suite at the facility. The new capacity will initially process hemophilia B treatment Rixubis, with recombinant factor VIII treatment BAX 855 being added if it successfully completes Phase III and wins approval.

Baxter now has three facilities handling Advate processing, a network the company has built to ensure it can maintain output. The drug is an important part of Baxter's $3.4-billion-a-year hemophilia business. And the franchise will become even more significant for the company if plans to split its biopharma and med tech units go ahead. The Singapore plant and the 450 people it will employ once the expansion is completed next year will be a cornerstone of the independent biopharma company.

Yeoh Keat Chuan

That Baxter chose to join the likes of AbbVie ($ABBV), Genentech and Novartis ($NVS) in opening a biologics plant in Singapore is at least partly due to the country's Economic Development Board, a group that has worked for years to develop the nation's workforce and lure drugmakers. "Singapore EDB will continue to invest in talent development, supporting infrastructure and new technologies to support the biologics sector," Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of the EDB, said in a statement.

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