Biopharma Job Market Booms in Singapore, N.C. and Maryland

Job Candidates

The help wanted signs are up across the biopharma industry. Companies are opening and expanding facilities, which is good news for job seekers.


Earlier this week, Germany-based BioNTech announced plans to establish its first hub in Asia. The company will open a manufacturing facility in Singapore to support a global supply of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics. The facility will provide rapid-response capabilities for future pandemic threats in Southeast Asia. BioNTech plans to open a regional office in Singapore before beginning construction on its new facility. 

The Singapore site will be capable of producing a range of novel mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. The facility will also bring highly automated and end-to-end mRNA production capabilities across drug substance, drug product and fill-and-finish. 

When it is operational, the facility will have an estimated annual capacity of several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine. BioNTech anticipates the facility will create up to 80 jobs in Singapore when the site is complete in 2023.


After securing a $231.8 million agreement with the U.S. government for at-home COVID-19 tests, Australia-based Ellume is planning to gain a physical toehold in the United States. The company will open a manufacturing facility in Frederick, Maryland. According to the Frederick News Post, Ellume will open an 180,000-square-foot facility that could provide up to 1,500 jobs. The company intends to invest $16 million into the plant, with production set to begin in the second half of this year. 

Ellume received Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 Home Test, a rapid self-test for the viral infection. The diagnostics device is expected to play a crucial role in the United States as the only diagnostic tool authorized for non-prescription use as a screening tool. It is also intended to assess infection in both symptomatic and asymptomatic people.

North Carolina

Tergus Pharma, a contract development and manufacturing organization, opened a new headquarters in North Carolina’s Bull City that will provide almost 150 new jobs. The facility will include 100,000 square-feet of space that is expected to augment the company’s growth plan, the News & Observer reported

The expansion will allow Tergus to conduct early phase research, drug development and testing on topical drugs.

The new facility will replace the company’s current site, also located in Durham. The facility will include office space for the company’s headquarters, as well as three research and development labs, six suites, and six filling and packaging suites.

Durham is in North Carolina’s ever-expanding Research Triangle Park, a key pharma hub in the Southeastern part of the United States. 

Not only is Tergus expanding in Durham, Connecticut-based Knighthead Funding, a real estate company, loaned $57.25 million to Equator Capital Management in support of the buildout of a 245,000 square-foot life sciences campus in the RTP. The space is expected to be occupied by sequencing company Invitae Corp. 

In April, Invitae said the North Carolina space will enable the company to meet the growing global demand for genetic testing services. The Wake County facility is expected to employ up to 350 people. Once operational, the facility will significantly expand Invitae's testing capacity. The company said it will exceed the current capacity in the company's San Francisco facility. 

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