Denka opens first overseas research and development facility in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Japanese specialty chemical firm Denka Company has opened its new research and development (R&D)facility in Singapore - its first outside of Japan.

The Denka Life Innovation Research Centre Singapore, opened in a closed-door ceremony on Feb 13, is a US$2 million (S$2.8 million) life sciences research institute.

It will be manned by 10 researchers, including those from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Biopolis community.

The facility will work on vaccines, diagnostic reagents as well as anti-cancer drugs, genetic testing and health check-ups.

"At present, we are strengthening our businesses in the region related to the health and life sciences field where sustained growth is expected," said Denka in a statement.

"With the opening of the (new) facility, we have ramped up efforts to promote open innovation. We have been accelerating R&D projects, including proprietary seasonal influenza vaccines ... to easily diagnose Zika fever, Dengue fever and other tropical infectious diseases."

The new facility introduces a new function to Denka's portfolio in Singapore, which further anchors Singapore as its home base in South-east Asia. Denka has four manufacturing plants here, along with two headquarters and a technical services centre.

Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said: "The establishment of Denka's life sciences R&D laboratory here reflects Singapore's attractiveness for companies seeking to develop products that address diseases prevalent in the region.

"With functions ranging from manufacturing, regional headquarters and now, to R&D, Denka is a good example of how companies can orchestrate their growth in Asia through Singapore, and in the process, create good jobs for Singaporeans."