13 July 2023 | Company results | By Hithaishi C Bhaskar
The new facility will produce drug substances for Hepatitis B vaccines in addition to the site’s current production of drug substances for polysaccharide conjugate vaccines and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccines
Photo Credit: GSK, Singapore
GSK Singapore commemorated the groundbreaking ceremony for its S$343 million state-of-the-art vaccines facility at Tuas which will manufacture drug substances for GSK’s vaccines that protect against Hepatitis B. The site will commence commercial production in 2027. GSK’s Hepatitis B vaccine is the first recombinant DNA Hepatitis B vaccine to be licensed.
GSK has robust medicines and vaccines operations and a considerable manufacturing footprint in Singapore housing three manufacturing sites in Jurong, Quality Road and Tuas. The expansion of the existing GSK facility at Tuas will start construction in the third quarter of 2023, with completion targeted by 2025. To ensure consistent product quality and output, advanced technology will be deployed at the site, including process analytical technology (PAT) and process digital twins. In more than 35 years, GSK has distributed over one billion Hepatitis B vaccine doses across more than 90 countries.
Regis Simard, President, Global Supply Chain of GSK, explained “GSK’s additional investment in Tuas underlines the company’s commitment to investing in Singapore, reinforcing its strong presence in the country for over 60 years. The expanded facility will solidify the positive contribution that GSK Tuas makes to global public health, helping us achieve our purpose to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together.”
The facility expansion reinforces the GSK Tuas site as an important part of GSK’s manufacturing footprint in Singapore. It will produce drug substances for Hepatitis B vaccines in addition to the site’s current production of drug substances for GSK’s polysaccharide conjugate vaccines and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) vaccines. These vaccines protect against invasive diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis.
The GSK Tuas site, established in 2009 with an investment of S$510 million, is Singapore's first state-of-the-art vaccines manufacturing facility. The site’s Hepatitis B facility expansion will produce and supply worldwide drug substances for GSK’s Hepatitis B vaccines. The expansion of this facility will result in the creation of new substantial employment opportunities.
Gan Kim Yong, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, served as honorary guest of honor at the event. To accelerate achieving GSK’s ambition of Carbon Net Zero by 2030, the facility expansion has, among other sustainability features, renewable energy generation, process improvements, and energy-efficient Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. The new facility is designed to have a total annual energy savings of about 800 Megawatt-hour that equals reduction of an estimated 300 tons of carbon dioxide emission. This is equivalent to powering about 200 four-room Housing Development Board (HDB) flats for one year.
“The growing manufacturing footprint of global biopharmaceutical players in Singapore is testament to the long-term prospects of the sector. GSK’s latest investment is a strong show of confidence in Singapore’s world-class infrastructure and skilled workforce for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. In addition to efforts in developing manufacturing leaders in Singapore, GSK has also been a steadfast partner to our research ecosystem. With its focus on advanced manufacturing and sustainability, the expanded GSK Tuas facility will provide exciting opportunities for our local talent and institutes to shape the future of vaccine production,” said Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board.