Singapore to get a new manufacturing, R&D site to fight help infectious diseases – Endpoints News

Hille­man Lab­o­ra­to­ries is open­ing a vac­cine and bi­o­log­ics de­vel­op­ment hub in Sin­ga­pore to aid the com­pa­ny’s jour­ney to de­vel­op af­ford­able vac­cines against in­fec­tious dis­eases.

A 30,000-square-foot site will go up at 138 De­pot Road in Biopo­lis at a brand new R&D cen­ter at the Biopo­lis in­dus­tri­al park. The project will cost around $58 mil­lion with a two-year build­out ex­pect­ed.

The man­u­fac­tur­ing site will sup­ply clin­i­cal tri­al ma­te­ri­als for up to Phase II de­vel­op­ment, and the R&D fa­cil­i­ty will be work­ing on can­di­date se­lec­tion, de­sign, the man­u­fac­tur­ing process de­vel­op­ment, and pre­clin­i­cal stud­ies. The two lo­ca­tions will work to­geth­er to pro­vide con­cept-to-Phase II ser­vices.

Sin­ga­pore’s Eco­nom­ic De­vel­op­ment Board will help Hille­man ex­pand its pipeline and use the coun­try’s lo­cal tal­ent to fast-track de­vel­op­ment. The com­pa­ny will of­fer Sin­ga­pore an in-coun­try man­u­fac­tur­ing op­tion, so the coun­try can re­ly less on im­ports in the case of a fu­ture pan­dem­ic.

The coun­try has done well vac­ci­nat­ing its pop­u­la­tion, with 83.4% of its peo­ple be­ing ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed, as of the start of De­cem­ber, and 10% re­ceiv­ing boost­er shots. It staved off the mas­sive spike in cas­es un­til Oc­to­ber 2021, when it start­ed to re­port as many as 3,700 new cas­es a day.

EDB’s sup­port will fur­ther strength­en our po­si­tion as an end-to-end de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion while lend­ing our ex­per­tise in vac­cines and bi­o­log­ics to build lo­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties to ad­dress ur­gent pub­lic health chal­lenges caused by vac­cine-pre­ventable dis­eases, some of which have pan­dem­ic po­ten­tial,” Hille­man CEO Ra­man Rao said.

Up to 50 jobs will be cre­at­ed, in­clud­ing sci­en­tists, en­gi­neers and man­agers. Hille­man and the EDB will of­fer ca­reer train­ing and de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Hille­man Labs was start­ed in 2009 as a joint ven­ture be­tween Well­come Trust, a health char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion, and Mer­ck Sharp & Dohme.

“Hille­man Lab­o­ra­to­ries’ ac­tiv­i­ties in Sin­ga­pore are a step to­wards build­ing do­mes­tic ca­pa­bil­i­ties in vac­cines de­vel­op­ment and pi­lot man­u­fac­tur­ing and will en­hance our grow­ing po­si­tion as a vac­cines hub of Asia. We look for­ward to Hille­man Lab­o­ra­to­ries em­bark­ing on this jour­ney to ad­dress the press­ing chal­lenges of in­fec­tious dis­eases and cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on hu­man health­care in the re­gion,” said Goh Wan Yee, the SVP of the EDB.