The new facility is said to mark a significant milestone and investment in pandemic preparedness for Singapore, which is fast emerging as a biomedical hub in the Asia Pacific.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, a supplier of scientific instrumentation, reagents and consumables, and software services, has opened a new sterile drug facility in Singapore that aims to better enable customers to deliver new medicines and vaccines in the Asia Pacific market.
Established with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), in alignment with the government’s investment in preparedness for future health emergencies, the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) facility will provide rapid vaccine fill-finish capabilities along with Thermo Fisher’s end-to-end pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services, it was stated.
The new facility is said to also mark a significant milestone and investment in pandemic preparedness for Singapore, which is fast emerging as a biomedical hub in the Asia Pacific region.
Michel Lagarde, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, commented: "This new site is an important extension of Thermo Fisher’s robust sterile fill-finish global network. With this expansion, we are strategically prepared, more than ever, to respond to our customers’ needs by supporting the accelerated delivery of critical vaccines and medicines to patients."
Png Cheong Boon, Chairman, EDB, also shared his views: "Singapore’s strengths in manufacturing and connectivity to the region make us a hub for the production and supply of important pharmaceutical drugs to serve Asia’s healthcare needs.
"Thermo Fisher Scientific's fill-finish manufacturing facility will enable end-to-end vaccine manufacturing to be carried out in Singapore. This will strengthen our vaccine supply chain resilience and enhance future pandemic preparedness for our region."
The new facility includes a high-speed, fully automated aseptic fill-finish line for small and large molecules. This investment in Singapore complements new research capabilities at Thermo Fisher Scientific's Customer Experience Center and Bioprocess Design Center, two other operational lab facilities that showcase the latest bioprocessing, life science, and analytical technologies.
It was noted: "Together, these sites allow Thermo Fisher to better enable customers to accelerate their research, as well as develop and commercialise new medicines and vaccines in the Asia Pacific market."
Currently, more than 2,000 employees work out of the company's locations in Singapore.
Speaking at the launch event, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat affirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic has "strengthened our appreciation of the biopharma industry and its critical contributions."
"Without vaccines, we would have seen far higher death rates, deeper economic recessions, and a slower return to normalcy.
Looking ahead, the biopharma industry holds the key to addressing common challenges such as an aging population. Innovative therapeutics can address some of these challenges."
He further elaborated: "And in a more inter-connected world facing climate change, the emergence of Disease X or the next global health crisis is not a matter of 'if', but 'when'. At the same time, having lived through this pandemic, we must draw lessons to prepare ourselves better for the next crisis."
The first, he noted, is to build and uphold supply chain resilience; and the second is the importance of trust and collaboration.
"With these lessons, as well as the advent of new technologies like AI, we must aim to be swifter and more agile in developing and rolling out new therapeutics and vaccines.
"In this context, Thermo Fisher’s Fill-Finish Facility is significant because it will enable end-to-end manufacturing of vaccines and biologics in Singapore, contributing to the region’s resilience. In the pharmaceutical process, fill-finish is the critical step in manufacturing the final vaccines and drugs to be ready for consumer use.
"This new facility will complement the recent investments by Sanofi and BioNTech, by closing the loop on vaccine production locally."
Aon establishes climate innovation hub in Singapore, aims to increase headcount to more than 350 over 10 years
In similar updates, professional services firm Aon has established a new climate innovation hub in Singapore. Also supported by EDB, the hub, housed in its Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA), aims to help Aon’s clients around the world navigate environmental risks and opportunities.
Over the next 10 years, the firm plans to invest in further enhancing its data, analytics, insights, and solutions to better advise clients on emerging and evolving risks that are increasingly complex and interconnected, while concurrently increasing headcounts at the ACIA from close to 180, to more than 350.
"Climate change is a reality, not a probability. In 2022, there were $313bn in total economic losses from natural disasters globally—$299bn of which was the result of weather and climate events," said Greg Case, CEO, Aon.
"The acceleration of innovation and digitalisation will continue to influence the future of business. We look forward to working closely with the EDB to identify local talent, pursue innovation at scale, and develop new solutions that help our clients make better-informed decisions around the world."
Png Cheong Boon, Chairman, EDB, also commented: "Aon's climate innovation hub will complement Singapore’s growing ecosystem of sustainability solutions providers that can help businesses meet their climate commitments, support their energy transition and explore green growth opportunities."
Through the commitment, it was added, Aon plans to further address organisational needs by: navigating new forms of volatility; rethinking access to capital; building a resilient workforce; and, addressing underserved markets.
Thank you for reading our story! Please leave us a comment if you enjoy our content — take our 2023 Readers' Survey here.
Lead photo: PMO Singapore's Newsroom
Aon's photo: Provided