He was responding to a parliamentary question from Member of Parliament for Yio Chu Kang, Yip Hon Weng. Mr Yip asked how Singapore is facilitating the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines with the various pharmaceutical companies with which we have established agreements, and how the Ministry is ensuring that Singapore has the necessary capabilities within the country to produce vaccines for citizens’ use in future pandemics.
The pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Singapore is a globally competitive one. Pharmaceutical companies with a presence here include Amgen, Pfizer, GSK and Sanofi.
Amgen is an American multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California. It is one of the world’s largest independent biotechnology companies. GSK or GlaxoSmithKline is a British multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Brentford. It is also one of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical companies. Sanofi is a French multinational pharmaceutical company.
These companies have invested in Singapore to ‘leverage our skilled talent, commitment to research and development, strong manufacturing capabilities and excellent global connectivity’, Mr Chan said.
He also revealed that the government is in discussions with several pharmaceutical companies to manufacture vaccines and therapeutics (V&Ts) out of Singapore.
“In this regard, one of the world’s largest life sciences companies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, recently announced that it would establish a new US$130 million Fill-and-Finish facility here to develop and manufacture vaccines and therapeutics,” Mr Chan said.
This new facility will consist of two new filling lines, including a high-speed sterile line approved for live virus filling, the first such large scale capability in Singapore.
Once operational in 2022, the facility will manufacture up to 30 million sterile doses per month. It will have the versatility to manufacture a wide variety of vaccines and therapeutics and enhance Singapore’s resilience to future pandemics beyond COVID-19.
“Attracting V&T manufacturers to Singapore will also complement our continuing efforts to develop manufacturing executives with the niche skillsets needed for V&T manufacturing, and reinforce our strategy of nurturing local companies in the biomedical sciences industry, whose R&D and innovation activities can strengthen our response to future pandemics,” said Mr Chan.