Baxter opens recombinant protein site in Singapore after vaccines sale

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Baxter opens recombinant protein site in Singapore after vaccines sale

Related tags Biotechnology

Baxter has opened a recombinant protein facility in Singapore aimed at building up its biopharma business and strengthening its haemophilia offerings.

The site will become the company’s main commercial processing facility globally and will process RIXUBIS, a recombinant factor IX (rFIX) protein for the treatment of adults with haemophilia B. It will also produce extended half-life recombinant FVIII treatment BAX 855 if the gene therapy receives regulatory approval.

The investment is an addition to Baxter’s existing Singapore laboratory, which currently processes ADVATE (Antihemophilic Factor, a recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII)), used in patients with hemophilia A.

The facility received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in January 2014 for the production of ADVATE, which Baxter supplies to the EU. It now employs 400 staff and will create another 50 jobs to support its latest processing suite by 2015, said Baxter.

Singapore: a ‘bio-cluster’

The Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB) launched a marketing push for the country in the last two years, publicising Singapore as Asia’s fastest growing bio-cluster​”​ and a destination for commercial and academic investment.

Amgen invested $200m (€150m)​ in constructing a mAb production facility in Singapore in January 2013, making it, along with Pfizer, Lonza, Roche and Baxter, among the owners of 50 commercial plants in the Asian country.

Baxter’s Corporate VP and President of International Operations Jean-Luc Butel commented, "Singapore's biotech industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years and Baxter is proud to have been a part of this journey.

Baxter is grateful to the Singapore Economic Development Board for their support in establishing this facility and for its commitment to collaborations that advance access to quality healthcare.​”

Last month, Baxter International sold its vaccine business to Pfizer​ for $675m (€474m). Baxter told the sale could be attributed to a strategic decision “to enhance the focus of Baxter BioScience on our core areas of expertise as [it] prepares to become an independent global biopharmaceutical company in 2015.​”

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