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Novartis to Invest USD 500 Million in New Singapore Facility

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 19 Nov 2012
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Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) will pay more than USD 500 million to construct a new biotech production site in Singapore to support its growing pipeline of biologics.

First announced in 2007 as a USD 700 million investment, the facility was put on hold after Novartis formed a biologics production partnership with Lonza (Basel, Switzerland), a global biopharmaceuticals supplier, in 2008. The project has now been revived, and construction of the new site is planned for early 2013, and is expected to be operational by the end of 2016. The reasons behind the delay and the decision to reduce the investment by USD 200 million were stated as a desire to better align capacity needs and scope requirements with the future pipeline.

The new facility will focus on drug substance manufacturing based on cell culture technology, such as monoclonal antibodies treatments for cancers and autoimmune and respiratory diseases. The new facility will be based at the same location as Novartis’ existing pharmaceutical production facility in Tuas (Singapore), and will be designed to operate in a flexible manner to handle both small and large-scale volumes and to support clinical and commercial production of potential new products.

“We have chosen Singapore as strategic supply point as it offers a wide range of advantages due to its strong local biomedical presence and knowledge, skilled labor, as well as proximity to growth markets in Asia,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. “This investment further strengthens our strategy to establish key strategic sites based on technological competencies. Singapore will be strengthened through a new state-of-the-art facility for biotechnology which is a growing segment of our business.”

Novartis already has several operations in Singapore, including its tropical diseases institute, the Asia-Pacific head offices, and two production facilities for its eye-care unit Alcon.

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