Singapore has become an important hub for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and Thermo Fisher Scientific ($TMO) notched up its presence there to tap the country's rapidly growing market. The company has opened a dry powder media (DPM) plant to make cell culture raw material used to manufacture biologics. The company says the facility is the first DPM plant in Singapore.
According to a Thermo Fisher spokesperson, the Waltham, MA-based company invested about SGD$10 million ($7.88 million) in the facility, which will employ about a dozen people. The company already has 5 other plants in Singapore that represent various businesses and has more than 300 employees there. The DPM plant is a cGMP manufacturing plant--mirroring the functionality of the one that Thermo Fisher has in Logan, UT.
The 31,000-square-foot facility is in the Tuas industrial area of western Singapore and is targeted at the growing biologics manufacturing market there and in the rest of the Asia Pacific. Citing a recent BCC research report, it said the DPM market in the Asia Pacific is growing at a 20% compound annual rate and is expected to hit $220 million in value by 2016.
"Asia continues to be our fastest-growing market and a central contributor to our growth," said Greg Herrema, president of Biosciences at Thermo Fisher.
Swiss drugmaker Novartis ($NVS) for one is building a biologics plant there. It started construction this year on a $500 million biologics manufacturing plant alongside a traditional drugmaking facility in the Tuas area in Singapore. The Novartis plant is slated to be completed in 2016. Lonza has a biologics plant in that area as well.
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