On 5 July pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), opened a new continuous manufacturing facility, as well as an expanded production building at its Jurong site, with a total investment of SGD 130 million (USD 96 million).
GSK opened its first manufacturing facility in Singapore in 1982 at the location in Jurong. These facilities are part of GSK’s 10-year Singapore manufacturing roadmap, developed in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board. Under this initiative, GSK has previously contributed SGD 30 million towards research in green manufacturing and public health policy, along with an investment of SGD 80 million in its Quality Road Plant in 2015.
Start-of-the-art technology at the continuous manufacturing facility enables production to take place in a continuous flow with no interruption, and fewer manual interventions compared to traditional batch processing. The process allows API (Active pharmaceutical ingredient) production to be adapted to demand and enables better product quality, faster response time and lower impact on the environment.
This new facility will support production of APIs such as Dolutegravir and Lamivudine, which are used in GSK’s HIV medication. HIV drugs constitute around a third of GSK’s pharmaceutical business, in the form of drugs such as Dovato, Trivicay and Triumeq. An oral treatment for anemia related to chronic kidney disease, Daprodustat, will be also developed at the new facility.
The expanded production building has two production modules whose design incorporates digital technology and it will serve as a testbed for the digitalization of manufacturing processes. Data analytics will be used to improve yield.
(Sources: Business Times; Straits Times; Channel NewsAsia)