Singapore To Be Home To $1.5bn AstraZeneca Production Plant

On May 20, 2024, AstraZeneca, the global biopharma company, announced plans to build a $1.5 billion manufacturing facility in Singapore. With this announcement, the company is looking to start the design and construction of the new Singapore setup by the end of 2024 and make it operationally ready by 2029.

With this new facility, the company aims to manufacture antibody drug conjugates- ADCs which are a form of its next-gen treatment that can go on to deliver cancer killing agents that are highly potent directly to the cancer cells by way of a targeted antibody. All this is done so as to throttle the worldwide supply of its ADC portfolio.

This will be AstraZeneca’s first end-to-end antibody drug conjugate production site, which is going to completely incorporate the steps pertaining to the manufacturing process on a commercial scale.

As per the executive vice president of global operations and information technology at AstraZeneca, Ms. Pam Cheng, there are going to be many meaningful jobs created due to this new facility.

Given the kind of manufacturing processes for ADC, Ms. Cheng added that it will be only fair to say that the jobs are going to be innovative and technical, with positions for scientists, supply chain experts, engineers, info-tech experts, and also people who have experience in procurement as well as infrastructure.

She is not yet ready with the number as to how many employees would get an opportunity here, as they are yet to finish the design and also finalize the scope; however, the fact is that there are four manufacturing plants in one facility that they are referring to.

According to her, the site is going to be designed as a connected smart facility with autonomous manufacturing capacities that is going to make the utmost use of AI and digital prowess. She added that with this, they will require a much technical and capable skill set so as to make sure that the manufacturing processes are successfully operated.

The manufacturing facility is going to be built on land that has not been developed before and is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board- EDB whose Chairman, Mr. Png Cheong Boon, said that they indeed welcome the biopharma giants decision to come up with their manufacturing presence for the first time in Singapore. This greenfield investment happens to be a strong show of confidence in the capabilities and talent of the country’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and hence will lead to strengthening their ecosystem when it comes to developing as well as manufacturing precision-led drugs, creating jobs, and boosting the economic potential of Singapore.

It is well to be noted that across Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and also the Americas, AstraZeneca employs almost 89000 people.

According to Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, the company happens to have an industry-leading portfolio as far as cancer drugs are concerned, which includes antibody-drug conjugates that have shown immense potential to replace chemotherapy for patients. Given the reputation of Singapore as one of the world’s most attractive countries for investment and excellence in intricate manufacturing, Mr. Soriot added that he is excited to be locating their $1.5 billion ADC manufacturing setup in the country.