German Multinational Pharmaceutical company Bayer AG has reported that it is in considerations to expand its presence in Singapore and the wider ASEAN region. Plans to achieve this involve building a new production facility, to support cell and gene therapies it is developing to cure Parkinson’s Disease, and to partner with innovative biotechnology start-ups, including those working on mRNA-based vaccines and therapies.
These plans come on top of its current partnership with Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings, which has allowed it to establish Singapore as its Asia-Pacific headquarters for pharmaceuticals, crop science and consumer health divisions and ASEAN country group platform, as well as a new center of excellence for the smallholder farming community in Asia. With the skill base, workforce and expertise available in Singapore, Bayer believes that the country is a good location to further develop its mRNA-based therapies for treating Parkinson’s Disease, which are currently already in clinical trials in the United States and Canada, and is open to partnering with startups focused on mRNA-based therapies in Singapore.
The company is in talks with the Singapore Government and its agencies, such as the Economic Development Board, to see whether there is more that its venture capital arm, Leaps, can do in developing technologies, including mRNA with young companies. Leaps and Temasek last year jointly invested to form a new company called Unfold to focus on innovative vegetable varieties with the aim of lifting vertical farming to the next level of quality, efficiency and sustainability and has a seed-breeding technology center in Singapore.
(Source: The Straits Times)