Updated on 12 September 2012
How does Singapore stack up?
Singapore is an increasingly popular destination for pharma and biopharmaceutical companies, and it does have many strengths. For one, it provides excellent communication and transportation infrastructure. It also offers strong intellectual property protection, a rigorous regulatory regime and a stable political and civic environment.
Indeed, the city-state has attracted much interest. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board, seven of the world's top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Roche and Sanofi, have invested in commercial-scale manufacturing facilities in the country. Singapore also has a base of 20 leading CROs and pharmaceutical companies such as Quintiles, Bayer and Pfizer that manage regional clinical trials from the city-state.
Bucking the global trend of developed nations cutting back on research funding in tough economic times, the country, which was emerging from its own economic downturn, committed to investing some S$16.1 billion in research funding for the next five years in 2011. This is an increase of nearly 16 percent compared to the previous five years.
However, Singapore will find it hard to compete based on size and scale of operations. Being small, the country offers limited sites and experiences a higher saturation of clinical trials in the population.