Department of Pharmacy

National University of Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence

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Manufacturing New Medicines
Singapore has made significant inroads in biologics manufacturing, with Baxter, Lonza, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche announcing their investments to set up major biologics facilities that amount to US$2 billion in capital expenditure. This builds on the city state's strong track record in both small-molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient and secondary manufacturing.


Today, 8 of the world's top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have invested in more than 25 commercial-scale manufacturing facilities in Singapore. They include Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, Lonza, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and sanofi-aventis. These facilities are validated by regulatory authorities from the US and Europe, and produce innovative medicines for the global market.
Singapore offers excellent intellectual property protection, sophisticated infrastructure and a skilled manpower base to drive process development and support the commercial-scale production of the industry's most innovative products.


In addition, the city-state offers a stable political and civic environment to ensure long-term returns for global manufacturers' capital-intensive investments. The government has set aside a 360-hectare stretch of ready-prepared and specifically-zoned land, called Tuas Biomedical Park (TBP), for pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing. Equipped with established infrastructure such as roads, drainage systems, power, water supply, and telecommunication lines, TBP presents a plug-and-play environment that enables leading biomedical sciences companies to set up manufacturing facilities here with minimal lead time. These companies can also leverage on third-party utilities and services such as steam, natural gas, chilled water and waste treatment. TBP is currently home to leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies such as Abbott, Alcon, CIBA Vision, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Lonza, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. These companies have collectively invested over S$6 billion to set up manufacturing facilities in TBP.

The government is committed to working with the industry to upgrade employees’ skills, train new workers and promote best practices. The recent launch of the National University of Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence (NUSAGE) is a case in point. NUSAGE, a collaboration between the Singapore government, the National University of Singapore, and industry partners, is one of the first industry-wide training initiatives in the region and complements company specific training centres in Singapore.

 

Regional Centre to Promote Best Practices


The National University of Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence (NUSAGE) was set up in 2008 to promote Good Practices in manufacturing (GMP), clinical research (GCP) and health product safety or vigilance (GVP). A collaboration between key industry leaders, leading government agencies and the National University of Singapore, NUSAGE is one of the first industry-wide training initiatives in the region and complements company specific training centres in Singapore. NUSAGE also provides basic training for people who are interested to join the industry.

 

Reliable skilled manpower


Industry players in Singapore also work closely together to expand the talent pool to support the growth of the industry. In addition to joint campaigns to promote careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, the companies lead industry-wide initiatives to upgrade the existing workforce and attract new entrants from other industries.

The Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence (SAGE) is one particularly noteworthy initiative. Launched by the National University of Singapore (NUS) in March 2008, the Academy works closely with industry representatives and government agencies to deliver world-class training programs and promote best practices. SAGE is one of the first industry-wide training initiatives in the region and complements company specific training centers in Singapore. SAGE also provides basic training for people who are interested to join the industry.

Mr. Angoh said: “Our employees in Singapore are extremely motivated, productive and driven to deliver the best standards in quality control and assurance. Singapore also offers a pool of highly qualified graduates trained in local tertiary institutions that emphasize science and engineering.”

 

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