GlaxoSmithKline to invest $80m more in Singapore antibiotic plant

The firm plans to boost output at the Quality Road plant, its sole production site for amoxicillin, which is used in antibacterial drugs.
The firm plans to boost output at the Quality Road plant, its sole production site for amoxicillin, which is used in antibacterial drugs.PHOTO: GSK

SINGAPORE - Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is investing another £38 million (S$80 million) to expand its world-class antibiotic manufacturing plant in Singapore.

This comes on top of an initial investment of $60 million, committed in 2012, for the Quality Road facility.

The plant is the company's sole production site for amoxicillin - an active compound used in the manufacture of antibiotics that are widely prescribed for the treatment of bacterial infections.

The latest investment will be used to construct an additional downstream isolation facility at Quality Road.

This will lift production by 50 per cent and help GSK meet growing demand for antibiotics in emerging markets, the firm said in a statement released yesterday.

It plans to raise headcount at the Quality Road site by about 25 per cent for critical roles such as chemists, operators and engineers. Currently, it has about 110 employees there.

The British pharma giant opened its global headquarters for Asia here in March.

It is moving 700 employees from the corporate and commercial office in Gateway West to the new headquarters, slated to be ready by the end of next year.

The company employs some 900 other staff across its three manufacturing facilities at Jurong, Quality Road and Tuas.

"GSK and Singapore have enjoyed a highly productive partnership for over 50 years," said Mr Roger Connor, its president of global manufacturing and supply.

The firm's latest investment is "aligned with Singapore's vision of becoming a key site for research, development and industrialisation of cutting-edge pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies", said Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan, the managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

chiaym@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'Glaxo to invest another $80m in plant'. Print Edition | Subscribe