SAN DIEGO, June 18 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Singapore has firmly established itself as a leading manufacturing hub in Asia with its strong track record, sophisticated infrastructure, superior IP protection and reliability. Its biomedical sciences manufacturing output expanded four-fold from US$4.4 billion in 2000 to US$17 billion in 2007 at a compounded annual growth rate of 21%, far surpassing the industry's global growth rate.
Singapore is now host to 11 (Note 1) global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, who have invested more than 25 commercial- manufacturing facilities here. These facilities are validated by regulatory authorities from US and Europe, and produce innovative medicines for the global market.
The Singapore manufacturing facilities of Merck, Pfizer and Schering- Plough successfully completed validations from the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency with zero observations. This is a strong testament to the operational excellence and high quality workforce available in Singapore to support high value pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing activities.
Mr. Russell Watson, Managing Director, Merck Sharp & Dohme (Singapore) Ltd, said: "The fundamentals of stewardship and compliance in Singapore are world class. Our facility in Singapore has successfully undergone audits from all major regulatory bodies with many internal and external accolades for operational excellence and innovation. These achievements would not have been possible without our highly competent employees who are constantly working together to improve the manufacturing processes."
Mr. Yeoh Keat Chuan, Executive Director, Biomedical Sciences Group, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said: "There are now more than 45 pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices manufacturing plants in Singapore. Companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Schering-Plough have also expanded beyond manufacturing into process development to support and strengthen their production base. We will continue to aggressively build up new capabilities to support the anticipated strong growth in this sector."
Mr. Gaetan Angoh, Managing Director for Schering-Plough LTD (Singapore branch), said: "As a pioneer US pharma investor since 1995, Schering-Plough has leveraged on Singapore's solid infrastructure, skilled workforce and pro- business environment to expand to our current manufacturing campus. Today, we are one of the largest employers in Singapore's biomedical sciences industry with over 800 people."
In addition to chemical-based pharmaceuticals, Singapore has also built up an impressive track record in biologics manufacturing. Within less than two years, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Lonza and Novartis announced their decisions to site a total of five major biologics manufacturing facilities amounting to US$1.5 billion in Singapore. The Singapore EDB, in partnership with the industry, has put in place a comprehensive range of programs to develop manpower and technological capabilities in support of biologics manufacturing.
Reliable Skilled Manpower
Industry players in Singapore also work closely together to expand the talent pool to support the growth of the industry. In addition to joint campaigns to promote careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, the companies lead industry-wide initiatives to upgrade the existing workforce and attract new entrants from other industries.
The Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence (SAGE) is one particularly noteworthy initiative. Launched by the National University of Singapore (NUS) in March 2008, the Academy works closely with industry representatives and government agencies to deliver world-class training programs and promote best practices. SAGE is one of the first industry-wide training initiatives in the region and complements company specific training centers in Singapore. SAGE also provides basic training for people who are interested to join the industry.
Mr. Angoh said: "Our employees in Singapore are extremely motivated, productive and driven to deliver the best standards in quality control and assurance. Singapore also offers a pool of highly qualified graduates trained in local tertiary institutions that emphasize science and engineering."
Located on the western tip of Singapore, Tuas Biomedical Park (TBP), a 890 acres stretch of ready-prepared and specifically-zoned land, presents a conducive environment for pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing.
TBP is currently home to leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies such as Abbott, Alcon, CIBA Vision, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Lonza, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer and Wyeth. These companies have collectively invested US$4 billion to set up manufacturing facilities in TBP. Equipped with established infrastructure such as roads, drainage systems, power, water supply, and telecommunication lines, TBP continues to attract leading biomedical sciences companies to set up manufacturing facilities here. These companies can also leverage on third- party utilities and services such as steam, natural gas, chilled water and waste treatment.
In addition, TBP offers environmentally-friendly utility solutions that contribute to greater energy efficiency and cost savings. Tuas Power, a leading power company in Singapore that promotes clean technologies, has set up Trigeneration capabilities to produce three types of utilities, electricity, steam and chilled water, from a single integrated system. Tuas Power is currently developing state-of-the-art trigeneration facilities for Pfizer and Schering-Plough respectively.
For more information, please visit the Singapore Pavilion (booth number 3935) or http://www.biomed-singapore.com .
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