Paris – French pharmaceutical company Sanofi announced on Monday (Apr 12) that it will be investing €400 million (S$637.8 million) over the next five years to create a leading-edge vaccine production centre in Singapore.
“The investment furthers Sanofi’s commitment to driving the future of vaccines by expanding manufacturing capabilities to ensure quality and scale, while responding to the risk of future pandemics,” said Sanofi in a press release.
The project is also expected to create up to 200 local jobs and enhance Singapore’s position as a regional innovation hub for the healthcare community.
“As a major healthcare player, it’s our responsibility to act and to meet the unprecedented growing demands for vaccines. By investing in a new production site in Singapore, Sanofi is aiming to strengthen production capacity to meet ever-growing global demands on vaccines and answer more rapidly to future pandemics,” said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice-president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur.
“We are very pleased by the strong collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to achieve this exciting milestone.”
Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of EDB, said, “Sanofi’s decision to locate its first-in-Asia digitally-enabled vaccine production centre in Singapore, to supply markets in the region and beyond, is an endorsement of Singapore’s position as a leading centre for advanced manufacturing.
“EDB will continue to promote digitalisation, automation and innovation to transform the manufacturing sector and create good jobs for Singaporeans.”
The unique factory will be designed around a central unit housing several fully digitalised modules, allowing three to four vaccines to be produced simultaneously compared to only one in current industrial sites.
The factory will also have the flexibility to leverage multiple vaccine manufacturing technology platforms based on different cell types, said Sanofi.
“This modularity and flexibility will allow the production of a specific vaccine to be prioritised in a faster timeframe depending on public needs.”
In line with Sanofi’s environmental strategy, the factory is designed to be carbon-neutral and to reduce both resource consumption and waste production drastically.
Construction of the site is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2021 and it will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2026.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing took to Facebook on Monday evening to announce the project, calling it “another shot in the arm for Singapore”.
“When this facility comes online in 2026, together with the other companies like GSK Biologicals and Thermo Fisher Scientific, we will have the full capability for end-to-end production of almost all kinds of vaccines in Singapore, for ourselves and for the world,” said Mr Chan.
“It will make us more resilient, physically and economically and strengthen our position as part of the global vaccine value chain.”
Mr Chan noted that companies like Sanofi and GSK invest in Singapore because they trust it to be “a place where they can be sure that their ideas can be protected and executed on, and where we have dependable and skilled workers to deliver”./TISG
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