US$130m facility to expand Asia Pacific sterile filling capacity

Article by Amanda Jasi

SCIENCE company Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced plans to expand sterile filling capacity for therapies and vaccines in the Asia-Pacific region, with a US$130m facility in Singapore.

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, sterile fill/finish is a process in which drugs are filled into vials and then sealed in extremely high-quality environments. 

Operated by Thermo Fisher, the facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 30m sterile doses/month and employ more than 300 people. The facility will initially include a high-speed sterile line approved for live virus filling, the first such large-scale capability in Singapore. An additional line for standard fill/finish will follow.

There will also be cleanroom capacity, labs warehousing, and offices to support production.

It is expected that the filling facility will have the capability to manufacture pharmaceutical products to meet demand in the Asia-Pacific region and respond effectively to future health emergencies.

The facility is expected to be operational by 2022. It will be established with the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the government agency responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent.

Marc Casper, CEO of Thermo Fisher, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of government and industry collaboration to protect citizens by ensuring the availability of critical diagnostic tests, therapies and vaccines.”

“This partnership enables us to expand our sterile fill/finish network in the region while strengthening the Singapore Government's ability to respond quickly to future health crises.”

Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of the EDB, said: “We strongly welcome Thermo Fisher's decision to establish a new sterile fill finish facility in Singapore. This is an important addition to the manufacturing capacity needed by global pharmaceutical and vaccine companies in the ongoing fight against Covid-19. Thermo Fisher's investment will also strengthen the infrastructure in Asia-Pacific to address future pandemics and enhance access to innovative new therapeutics and vaccines.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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