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Drugmaker AbbVie opens S$400m Singapore plant

NEW YORK-LISTED drugmaker AbbVie has marked its first foray in Asia with a S$400 million Singapore plant.

Located in Tuas Biomedical Park, the new 120,000 sq m manufacturing plant comprises the small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and the biologics facilities.

The global biopharmaceutical company on Thursday launched its API facility.

The biologics facility is expected to be fully operational by end 2018.

The plant will employ more than 250 new employees, the majority of whom will be hired locally in Singapore, including positions across manufacturing, technical operations, administration, quality, information technology and supply chain.

Said Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, senior vice-president of operations: "Today, with the opening of the first phase of our Singapore facility, we will further strengthen our manufacturing capabilities and continue to enhance our support of AbbVie's pipeline in the therapeutic areas of oncology and women's health for patients around the world."

Speaking at the opening ceremony, site director Marc O'Donoghue added that Singapore was chosen for its robust infrastructure, highly educated and skilled workforce and the supportive environment for manufacturing.

He said that the company's presence in Singapore and Asia "provides geographic balance" in the manufacturing network to ensure continuity of supply.

The group's manufacturing network now includes 13 locations across the United States, Europe, Asia and Puerto Rico, as well as strategic partnerships with third-party manufacturers.

Weng Si Ho, director of biomedical sciences at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), said that Singapore enables companies such as AbbVie to develop and manufacture innovative products to deliver value for patients worldwide.

She added that EDB will continue to commit strong investments in talent, infrastructure and technology to support the strong growth in the biopharmaceutical industry.

AbbVie was formed in 2013 when Abbott Laboratories spun off its research-based pharmaceuticals business from its medical devices and generic drugs.