Monday, November 27, 2006

Singapore drives pharma industry forward

22/11/2006 - Singapore has successfully completed the first phase of its biomedical science (BMS) initiative and is now pushing the second phase forward in order to drive growth in its pharma industry further.

The first phase of Singapore's BMS initiative ran for the five years between 2000 and 2005 and exceeded expectations, Keat Chuan Yeoh, director of Biomedical Sciences Group at the Singapore Economic Development Board, told
“During this time the industry grew its manufacturing output to S$18bn (€9bn), exceeding the target of S$12bn by 50 per cent,” said Yeoh.

“Eight out of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies now have plants in Singapore – mainly for making bulk active ingredients and intermediates – although Schering Plough, Novartis and Merck all have tableting facilities.”

The first phase of the BMS initiative was designed to build up core capabilities in Singapore's biomedical research industry and introduce key foreign and local human capital and infrastructure initiatives.

The second phase currently underway aims to build on this and the government has set aside a S$1.4bn investment for the purpose.

“Our main focus now will be setting up infrastructure for translational research, such as imaging and animal testing facilities,” said Yeoh.

In addition, he said the country is investing heavily in training clinical scientists and putting in place ‘lab to clinic' research programs in oncology, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, infectious diseases and optical medicine.

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