Abbvie opens new biologics manufacturing facility at Tuas

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The biologics manufacturing facility alongside the small molecular manufacturing facility, which commenced commercial production earlier this year, represents a combined investment of S$400 million by Abbvie

At the official opening ceremony of AbbVie Biologics Manufacturing Facility (Left to Right): Marc O’Donoghue, Site Director of AbbVie Operations Singapore; Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, Singapore Economic Development Board; Mr. S Iswaran, Minister of Trade & Industry (Industry); Rick Gonzalez, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AbbVie; Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, Senior Vice President and President of AbbVie Operations and Daniella Ottini, Vice-President of Manufacturing Operations Biologics

AbbVie, a global research and development-based biopharmaceutical company, opened its Biologics Manufacturing Facility yesterday, expanding its capabilities to include biological products in addition to its existing small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility.

Located in Tuas Biomedical Park, this facility is expected to employ about 250 people across different disciplines.

Rick Gonzalez, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AbbVie

“Today’s milestone represents our dedication to providing life-changing treatments for patients. Just as we are focused on uncovering therapies to address unmet patient needs, equally important is enhancing our capabilities to ensure supply of these medicines for our patients,” said Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, Ph.D., senior vice president, operations, AbbVie.

“We are delighted that AbbVie has chosen Singapore as the location for the establishment of their first biologics manufacturing facility in Asia. AbbVie’s latest investment is testament to Singapore’s strong track record of high-quality biopharmaceutical manufacturing. We continue to see strong growth in this industry sector, and EDB remains committed to invest in areas such as talent, technology and infrastructure to support this growth.” said Ms. Ho Weng Si, Director, Biomedical Sciences, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the manufacturing facility, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. S. Iswaran congratulated Abbvie on the S$400 million investment and said the inauguration of the facility comes at a timely moment especially with ageing populations, growing healthcare demand and technological changes that are changing healthcare paradigms.

At the same time, he said that technologies such as additive manufacturing and industrial internet-of-things are changing the nature of manufacturing and those firms that leverage these technologies can achieve significant productivity gains and differentiate themselves from the competition.

Minister S. Iswaran also assured that Singapore will continue to invest in innovation and work closely with the industry to strengthen their competitiveness. As a part of this, he said that Singapore is committed to partner with industry in training and equipping its citizens with relevant skills to benefit from the emerging opportunities.

“To this end, we will continue to partner the industry to train and upskill our people. The Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), under the Adapt and Grow initiative, is one such programme where progessionals have the opportunity to be trained for opportunities in a different/adjacent sector. The PCPs for the Pharmaceutical and Biologics sectors, jointly developed by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) will equip our local workforce with the requisite capabilities for these sectors.”

Giving an insight into the success of this program, he said that ” Since the launch of the PCPs for the pharmaceuticals and biologics sectors in 2014, over 350 individuals have benefitted from them.” He also encouraged more industry players to partner with the government agencies on such training efforts.