GlaxoSmithKline unveils $600M vaccine plant

GlaxoSmithKline has taken the wraps off its new, $600 million vaccine manufacturing plant in Singapore, which will produce jabs for a range of childhood diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia and blood poisoning. And the opening ceremony featured plenty of boasting. Glaxo chief Andrew Witty called the plant "possibly the best vaccine facility anywhere in the world."

Finishing the plant and getting started actually producing advanced vaccines, though, are two different things. Production work will only begin in 2011, giving regulators from the FDA and the World Health Organization time to inspect the facility. Glaxo used the opening day ceremony to announce a $30 million fund to endow graduate studies in manufacturing processes, green chemistry and health policies.

Singapore has pushed hard to expand its biopharma industry and a number of multinationals have set up operations in the city-state. And GlaxoSmithKline has been a big supporter. The pharma giant has been rapidly building its global vaccine business, which was on display earlier this week with the announcement that GSK is investing $34 million into a new joint venture to produce vaccines in China.

- read the report from the Straits Times