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March 29, 2007


Genentech, Lilly Invest $300 Million In Singapore

Genentech will build a biologics plant, and Lilly will expand its R&D capability

Jean-François Tremblay

Genentech will build a $140 million microbial fermentation-based biologics plant in Singapore. Separately, Eli Lilly & Co. will spend $150 million to triple the number of researchers in its drug discovery lab on the island to 150 and expand the lab's capabilities to conduct stem cell biology research.

Genentech's plant, expected to come on-line in 2010, will be the first one in Singapore to make microbial fermentation-based pharmaceuticals. It will employ 100 people and will initially produce Genentech's Lucentis treatment for wet macular degeneration, a disease that leads to blindness. Twenty Singaporeans have already gone to Genentech's facilities in California for training.

The Genentech biologics facility will join three such plants already under construction in Singapore. GlaxoSmithKline is building a vaccines facility, and contract manufacturer Lonza is constructing two biologics facilities, one of which Genentech has an option to acquire.

At Lilly's R&D center in Singapore, the expansion will take place over five years. A facility that now employs 47 scientists conducting research on oncology biomarkers will be enhanced with new capabilities in epigenetic biology, adult stem cell biology, disease-state modeling, and computational sciences.

Lilly's will be the largest foreign-owned drug discovery center in Sing apore. Other drug firms have smaller research centers in the city-state. Novartis, for example, has a tropical disease research center in Singapore that has a staff of about 100.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society