AbbVie API plant opens in Singapore as first part of larger $320m site

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Singapore is a major pharma manufacturing hub. Image: iStock/kanuman
Singapore is a major pharma manufacturing hub. Image: iStock/kanuman

Related tags Epidermal growth factor receptor

AbbVie has opened an oncology and women’s health API plant, part of its planned 120,000m2 small and large molecule manufacturing site in Singapore.

In February 2014​, AbbVie announced it was constructing a manufacturing facility in Tuas, Singapore to support its large and small molecule immunology and oncology pipeline at a cost of $320m (€285m).

Later that year​ the firm bought a small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) within the Tuas Biomedical Park, and after a 22 month refit it opened its door this week.

The API facility here supports our oncology and women’s health pipeline,”​ AbbVie spokeswoman Judy Low told this publication. “This facility came online more quickly [than the $320m plant] because we acquired it in 2014.”

The facility is part of a 120,000m2​ site, with the biologics facility expected to be operational in 2018.

We are evaluating options for the facilities to work together,”​ Low added.

One area where having small and large molecule production plants together is antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) and AbbVie has previously told us the Singapore site will be used to help advance its pipeline, including ABT-414: an investigational EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) targeted monoclonal antibody drug conjugate in late-stage development.


The Southeast Asian city-state is somewhat of a hub for pharma and biopharma manufacturing.

Along with AbbVie, Amgen​, Novartis​, and Baxter​ (now part of Shire) have invested heavily in manufacturing plants in Singapore, and life science tools and services companies have followed suit.

“Besides its location and highly-skilled workforce, Singapore also offers a stable, pro-business environment supportive of manufacturing, backed by a robust infrastructure,”​ Low said.

And in a statement, Weng Si Ho, director, biomedical sciences, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said: “Given our track record of providing a world-class business environment and skilled talent pool to companies, we enable companies such as AbbVie to develop and manufacture innovative products to deliver value for patients worldwide.”

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