PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, 2007/03/07 - The Biomedical science's (BMS) industry in Singapore saw the manufacturing output climbed to S$23 billion (US$15 billion) last year, an unprecedented 30.2 per cent increase over 2005.
2006 proved to be an exceptional year for the Biomedical Sciences ( BMS )industry ,thanks to major international players like GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Schering-Plough and others,recording a strong performance, accounting for 91 per cent of total output, while Medical Technology continues to contribute significantly, maintaining output levels at over S$2 billion (US$1.3 billion).Taken together, the level of BMS manufacturing fixed asset investment (FAI) commitments increased to S$901 million (US$586.6 million), up from the previous year's S$859.5 million (US$559.5 million). This impressive showing constituted 10.2 per cent of EDB’s total FAI commitments of S$8.8 billion (US$5.7 billion) for 2006.
While manufacturing shone, so did investments in R&D and Business Services, which grew by over a third to attain a record high of S$217.3 million (US$141.5 million) in total business spending (TBS). This was 7.6 per cent of EDB's total TBS commitments. In terms of value added (VA) per annum, BMS projects committed in 2006 stand to contribute S$2.26 billion (US$1.5 billion) when fully realised, or 16.8 per cent of EDB's total expected VA per annum in 2006 commitments.
In the manufacturing arena, biologics - the development of new classes of drugs using genetics and cell culture - is growing rapidly. Genentech, one of the world's most successful biotechnology companies, will begin operations in a biologics plant jointly set up by Lonza and Bio*One Capital. Bio*One Capital is the BMS investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), managing over S$1.2 billion (US$780 million) in funds for the industry, while the Lonza Group is one of the world's leading life sciences contract manufacturing company producing biological therapeutics. In 2006, Bio*One also invested S$114 million (US$74.2 million) into 16 new and follow-on projects, with close to 95 per cent of invested funds channelled into companies with Singapore-based activities, fuelling the growth of Singapore's BMS landscape. Other significant developments include GSK Biologicals breaking ground for its largest vaccine investment in Asia - a human vaccine manufacturing facility - the first of its kind in Singapore.
Pharmaceuticals manufacturing also received a shot in the arm with Abbott's S$450 million (US$292.9 million) greenfield nutritional plant and Merck's S$100 million (US$65.2 million) expansion of its existing production formulation facility. In medical technology, Singapore's strengths in complex manufacturing and precision engineering were leveraged by companies involved in advanced manufacturing activities. Edwards Lifesciences will build a tissue heart-valve production plant; MDS Sciex opened its first Asia-Pacific plant to manufacture its new cellular analysis system; and Philips Medical Systems established its first learning centre in the region - one of three worldwide - to train the local workforce on the use of its advanced imaging equipment.
The BMS industry is expected to maintain its growth trajectory and remains firmly on track to reach S$25 billion (US$16.3 billion) in manufacturing output and generate 15,000 jobs by 2015. R&D remains a key sector as the Ministry of Trade & Industry unfurled its Science & Technology Plan 2010 in February 2006. Some S$7.5 billion (US$4.9 billion) will be committed over the next five years to sustain innovation-driven growth through economic-oriented R&D, which supports Singapore's key industry clusters. Already, S$5.4 billion (US$3.5 billion) has been allocated to A*STAR to develop the public sector while EDB will receive S$2.1 billion (US$1.4 billion) in funds for the private sector.
Singapore will also step up efforts to build a dedicated plug and play environment for BMS R&D and manufacturing in order to meet companies’ needs all in one location. For example, SGS opened its new Quality Control Testing laboratory and leading reagents company Invitrogen set up its first on-site supply centre in Asia at Biopolis. Besides manufacturing and R&D, other areas such as the Healthcare Services sector will continue to be groomed. The Joint Commission International (JCI), which sets the gold standard accreditation for patient safety and care, opened its Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, a strong endorsement of Singapore's role in the international healthcare arena.