15 Apr 2014, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Alcon, global eye care firm, has launched an ophthalmic pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Singapore to produce ophthalmic pharmaceutical products which address eye conditions such as glaucoma, dry eye, allergies and bacterial infections with an investment of USD159.6 million (S$200 million).
"The need for quality eye care is increasing rapidly across Asia, as the population grows and ages," said Mr. Roy Acosta, Area President, Alcon Asia-Pacific. "With the opening of this new manufacturing facility, Alcon is making a strong investment in the future of our business in Asia, and ensuring that our innovative products are readily available to those who need them."
Construction on this 330,000 square foot facility began in 2009.
"Alcon has more than 20 manufacturing facilities around the world, which use state-of-the-art technology and adhere to the strictest quality standards," said Mr. Acosta. "We are proud to transfer those same capabilities to serve our customers right here in Asia with locally manufactured products."
Alcon already has experience in operating a manufacturing plant in Singapore. In 2005, the company opened a contact lens manufacturing facility in the Tuas Biomedical Park, to meet the growing demand for DAILIES contact lenses.
"Singapore's robust biomedical presence, and the highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce made it easy to choose Singapore for our new site," said Mr. Christopher Snook, Country President, Novartis Singapore and Head Novartis Group Country Management. "With the opening of this facility, we deepen our relationship with Singapore and strengthen the foundation for the long and very successful future Novartis sees in Singapore."
"Alcon's first ophthalmic pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Singapore further strengthens our position as a global biomedical hub. To support this growing sector, Singapore will continue to work with companies to develop dedicated infrastructure, industry-ready talent and new manufacturing capabilities. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Alcon and Novartis to create good jobs and exciting careers in Singapore," said Mr. Yeoh Keat Chuan, Managing Director, Economic Development Board.
"Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that lead to progressive damage of the optic nerve, and is projected to affect nearly 80 million people worldwide by 2020. If left untreated, it leads to irreversible blindness," said Professor Tin Aung, Executive Director, Singapore Eye Research Institute. "In Singapore, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness4, and is expected to become an even more serious problem in the future."
Currently, the facility employs approximately 150 associates, and is expected to continue to grow as production increases.