The $320m (€274m) investment announced in 2014 marked AbbVie’s first manufacturing venture in Asia. And just over a year on from the opening of a small molecule API plant at the 120,000m2 site in Tuas, Singapore, the firm has opened its biologics manufacturing facility.
“We indicated expectations to be operational by 2018,” AbbVie’s director at the Singapore site Marc O'Donoghue told Biopharma-Reporter. “The opening this week is on schedule with validations ongoing.”
He added the mammalian cell culture facility will be used for both clinical and commercial supply and has a mix of single use and stainless steel equipment.
Between the small and large molecule plants, AbbVie will employ 250 staff in Singapore to support its global immunology and oncology products.
With a small and large molecule production facility now open, there is scope to make antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) in Singapore, something discussed when the ground was broken at the site.
According to AbbVie: “Our strength in discovering and developing highly specific monoclonal antibodies and our experience in small molecule chemistry and analytics make ADCs a strong focus area of development for AbbVie.”
AbbVie has a partnership with a partnership with Seattle Genetics, for access to its pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) dimer ADC technology and EC-mAb site-specific conjugation technology, and last year added a stem-cell based ADC to its pipeline through the $5.8bn acquisition of Stemcentrix.