Updated on 28 June 2012
Lonza, one of the leading biopharmaceutical contract manufacturers in the world, opened its bioprocess facility in Singapore. The Singapore $14 million investment is the company's first investment towards bioprocess development in Asia and will support Lonza's biologics manufacturing plant in Singapore.
In addition to the above, Australian CRO, CPR Pharma Services, opened Singapore's first good laboratory practice (GLP)-standard bioanalytical laboratory, servicing the growing clinical trial market in the region. This facility would allow on-the-spot analysis of crucial samples for trials. This facility will also provide the Singapore biomedical sciences' community with critical research services, thus helping them to advance their drug development needs. This will position Singapore as a hub for translational and clinical research (TCR). Furthermore, during March 2011, Marken, a leading life science logistics specialist, opened its first global clinical trial supply depot in Singapore.
India's investment future looking up
India is another country where large investments are expected to flow in the coming period. According to Invest India, the Indian government has set up a $2.2 billion venture fund for supporting drug discovery and develop research infrastructure projects. This is a crucial step as it increases the funding required for innovative work by the Indian biotech sector.
According to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the drugs and pharmaceuticals' sector attracted an impressive level of FDI worth $3.2 billion between April 2011 and January 2012. DIPP is a part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and is responsible for framing the country's FDI policy.
Indian biotechnology industry is expected to garner revenues of $11.6 billion by 2017. Trends like rising investments from foreign companies, increased R&D and infrastructure investments from the private and public sectors, emerging market for contract research, increasing clinical capabilities in drug discovery and rising opportunities, are the key factors driving this market growth.
Sensing the lucrative opportunities in India, US-based real estate developer Alexandria is investing around $107 million to develop a biotechnology park in Bangalore, contributing significantly to the building of India's biotechnology infrastructure.
Another global pharma major, Sanofi-aventis is gearing up to invest around $105 million in its largest vaccine manufacturing facility near Hyderabad, to tap the growing opportunities in the emerging markets. Similarly, Covidien, a US-based manufacturer of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, is investing in India by setting up an R&D center in Hyderabad. Also, Abbott had recently announced that it would establish its first nutrition R&D center in collaboration with Syngene, which is India's leading contract research organization.
In addition to the above, during the first quarter of 2012, six companies received approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), a national agency of the Government of India that provides a single window clearance for proposals on FDI in India to the tune of $137million. Shantha Biotechnics and Edict Pharmaceuticals got the highest FDI approval of $95 million and $32 million during the period, respectively. The other leading names include Aptuit Laurus and Softgel Healthcare, who obtained FDI worth $8.79 million and $1.83 million respectively.
China emerges strong
China is also attracting investment from US and Europe and the country is making efforts to establish itself in the global market. Standard Chemical & Pharm in Jiangsu, China, signed an agreement with DIA, which is Japan's largest manufacturer of water-based patches, for a $6.9 million (44 million RMB) joint venture of building a production factory of water-based patches in China Medical City (CMC), Taizhou.
Similarly, Chi Sheng Chemical independently raised $40 million for its subsidiary, China Chi Thai Bio in Shanghai, to build a manufacturing factory for dialysis fluids, health and skin care products. The factory is expected to begin operations in 2012.