AstraZeneca invests $1.5bn in Singapore facility for next-generation cancer drugs

The manufacturing facility, supported by Singapore's Economic Development Board, is for antibody drug conjugates, and will be designed to be "zero carbon" from its first day of operation in 2029.

British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has said it plans to build a $1.5 billion manufacturing facility in Singapore for antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), to help enhance the global supply of its ADC portfolio, according to a May 20 media release.

ADCs are next-generation treatments that deliver cancer-killing agents directly to cancer cells through a targeted antibody. The manufacturing of ADCs includes: antibody production; the synthesis of chemotherapy drug and linker; the conjugation of drug-linker to the antibody; and the filling of the completed ADC substance. 

AstraZeneca said that it aims to begin design and construction of the manufacturing facility by the end of 2024, and is targeting operational readiness from 2029. AstraZeneca also noted that it will work with Singapore's government and other partners on green solutions. The facility will be designed to emit zero carbon from its first day of operations.

The planned greenfield facility is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and it will be AstraZeneca’s first "end-to-end" ADC production site. And the investment will help Singapore's growing biomedical sciences industry. 

EDB’s chairman Png Cheong said in the release: "We welcome AstraZeneca's decision to establish a manufacturing presence in Singapore for the first time. It will also be a first for AstraZeneca – an end-to-end manufacturing facility for novel antibody drug conjugates that enables precision therapy for cancer.”

Cheong added: “This greenfield investment is a strong show of confidence in Singapore's biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and talent, strengthens our ecosystem in supporting the development and manufacturing of precision medicines, and creates meaningful jobs and economic opportunities for Singapore. We look forward to a successful partnership with AstraZeneca."

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer, AstraZeneca, said: “Singapore is one of the world’s most attractive countries for investment given its reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing, and I'm excited for AstraZeneca to locate our $1.5 billion ADC manufacturing facility in the country.”

AstraZeneca has a broad portfolio of in-house ADCs, including six wholly owned ADCs, and "many more" in preclinical development, the release said.

Double revenue


AstraZeneca also revealed this week that it wants to deliver $80 billion in total revenue by 2030, up from $45 billion in 2023. The firm also said it is set to launch 20 new medicines by 2030 for “next generation therapies” and wants to halve greenhouse emissions across its “value chain” by 2030.

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