Switzerland-based life sciences supplier Lonza says it will invest CHF10m (€8m) to expand a Singapore plant that is part of its custom biomanufacturing business.
The investment will add nearly 2,000sqm of laboratory space at the facility in the Tuas Biomedical Park to support Lonza’s contract cell line development, processing and analytical services businesses.
Lonza did not respond to a request for comment and has not said if it will hire new staff or if the expansion will have any impact on the facility in Slough, UK facility that is the current base for its custom biomanufacturing unit.
In a press statement spokeswoman Lonza Janet White said the expanded facility, which is due to be fully operational in 2012, will cater for customers across Asia and around the world.
“This further investment in our Singapore location is driven by the increased demand we are seeing on a global basis.
“We are looking forward to offering the full range of our GS Gene Expression System and other technologies in Asia. The location is advantageous to many of our customers from across the globe, and in particular, with our growing set of customers based in the region.”
News of the Lonza's expansion plan follows just weeks after Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) raised its estimates for the country’s economic growth to between 5 and 7 per cent, citing the biomedical sector as a driver.
At the time MTI deputy secretary Kwek Mean Luck told Channelnewsasia.com that: "The manufacturing sector rebounded by 75 per cent on a (quarter-on-quarter) sequential basis.
“This was due to a strong boost from the biomedical manufacturing (BMS) cluster, resulting from a higher value-added mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients being produced.
This was echoed by analysts one of whom, Wu Kun Lung from Credit Suisse, highlighted Lonza among the most important factors.
"This year, there are new plans by Lonza, GSK. And last year, we have new expansion by Roche and we already seen how much it can boost GDP growth. And given this year, we have more new plants coming on stream. There definitely could be more upside surprises here."