SINGAPORE: Pharmaceutical company GSK opened two new manufacturing facilities in Singapore on Friday (Jul 5), as well as expanded one of the production buildings on its Jurong site.
In a press release, GSK said the developments will enable the site to "accelerate the supply of new breakthrough medicines to patients globally".
One of the new facilities will first develop Daprodustat, an oral treatment for anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease. It will be produced via a process called continuous manufacturing, which requires far fewer annual interventions that traditional batch manufacturing.
This manufacturing process is expected to reduce production time, enabling faster access to medicine for patients globally.
The expansion of the production building will also allow active pharmaceutical ingredients used in HIV medicines to be produced faster.
“Advanced manufacturing systems are pivotal for GSK to stay at the forefront of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector," said Mr Lim Hock Heng, vice-president and site director at GSK's Pharmaceuticals Supply Chain Singapore. "Further investment in digital manufacturing operations and processes will allow GSK to ensure efficient and high-quality production of our medicines.”
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who was at the launch, said that companies in the biomedical sector are now operating in an environment of precision medicine, tailored and custom-made for the individual.
Singapore can distinguish itself from the competition with collaboration between the Government, economic agencies and companies, he said.
Said Mr Chan: “The kind of investment that you make in Singapore will never be recovered in a year or two. You will require a sustained presence, a predictable environment, an environment that protects your IP and an environment that enables you to try new things.
"In order to achieve that, we need trust and collaboration between the Government, economic agencies and GSK. It will be the same kind of trust and collaboration that we will offer to all others in the biomedical industry."
Mr Chan added that the unions are a part of the ecosystem in the tripartite relationship.
“If workers are left behind, then we will face in Singapore the same challenges that people face elsewhere, which is that workers will start to resist change," he said.
"If workers and unions start to resist change then there is no way that we can accomplish what we want to do together. We can build all the nice facilities, we can have all the good government and business collaborations but it will never work without the last ingredient,” added Mr Chan.