Amgen to build $200 million Singapore plant

Biotech Amgen ($AMGN) will build its first manufacturing plant in Asia, having landed on Singapore as a good location to expand globally.

The California company was shy about details but said it will invest about $200 million in the plant. Work is expected to begin in the next few months, but spokeswoman Ashleigh Koss said Amgen didn't have a projected completion date. The biotechnology company also is not saying how many employees it expects to have. Koss said the company will be recruiting both experienced people as well as recent grads from local universities, so that number will depend on the mix it ends up with.

Amgen said the plant would initially focus on expanding Amgen's monoclonal antibody manufacturing. The facility will be capable of manufacturing both clinical and commercial products. 

Outside the U.S. the company has plants in Ireland and The Netherlands, but Koss said this would be its first foray into Asia. Amgen's Madhu Balachandran, executive vice president of operations, said in a release, "Singapore is an ideal location to further our manufacturing efforts based on its rich talent pool and friendly business environment." Koss declined to say whether the country was providing any incentives for the plant.

Amgen is not the only company to look to Singapore for manufacturing lately. Novartis ($NVS) said in October that it will build a $500 million biologics manufacturing plant in Singapore. The Swiss company said work will begin early this year, with the plant to be completed in 2016. It will eventually employ 200.

- here's the release