New facility is part of first-of-its-kind vaccine development and manufacturing hub in Singapore
Singapore, 6 December 2021: Hilleman Laboratories, an organisation with a mission to develop affordable vaccines and biologics against infectious diseases, today announced a first-of-its-kind vaccine and biologics development and manufacturing hub in Singapore. Established with the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the hub comprises a 30,000 square foot current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) facility at 138 Depot Road and a state-of-the art research and development (R&D) facility at Biopolis which began operations in April 2021. Hilleman Laboratories is investing close to SGD 80 million (USD 58 million) in operations, infrastructure and capacity building over the next five years.
The cGMP facility will supply clinical trial materials for the development of vaccines and biologics up to Phase II stage and is expected to be fully operational by early 2023. The R&D facility at Biopolis focuses on early product development of vaccines and biologics, including candidate selection, design, early manufacturing process development and preclinical studies. This unique set-up by Hilleman Laboratories enables the two facilities working in tandem to provide end-to end product development solutions from concept to cGMP and Phase II clinical using innovative technology platforms to develop affordable, high-value vaccines and biologics for Singapore as well as low- and middle-income countries.
The support from EDB will enable Hilleman Laboratories to expand its product development pipeline and harness Singapore’s local network and talent to fast-track the development of novel solutions to tackle the high disease burden of preventable diseases in developing countries. It will also provide Singapore with unique capabilities in vaccine and biologics development and manufacturing that will meet national needs during future pandemics.
“Singapore is an important base for Hilleman Laboratories to expand in the region and beyond as we ramp up efforts to develop timely, novel and affordable vaccines and biologics for infectious diseases, which exert a heavy burden on low- and middle-income countries. EDB’s support will further strengthen our position as an end-to-end development organisation while lending our expertise in vaccines and biologics to build local capabilities to address urgent public health challenges caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, some of which have pandemic potential,” said Raman Rao, CEO, Hilleman Laboratories.
“Hilleman Laboratories’ expansion in Singapore is testament to the strong base of talent, research and innovation, technology and manufacturing capabilities in the biopharmaceutical ecosystem. Hilleman Laboratories’ activities in Singapore are a step towards building domestic capabilities in vaccines development and pilot manufacturing and will enhance our growing position as a vaccines hub of Asia. We look forward to Hilleman Laboratories embarking on this journey to address the pressing challenges of infectious diseases and creating a positive impact on human healthcare in the region,” said Goh Wan Yee, Senior Vice President and Head, Healthcare, EDB.
Hilleman Laboratories plans to leverage the local ecosystem in hiring up to 50 scientists, engineers, and managers in Singapore, offering training and career development opportunities, and equipping them with the skills and expertise necessary to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in the development of vaccines and biologics in compliance with global regulatory and quality standards.
Hilleman Laboratories was established in 2009 as an equal joint venture between Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (MSD), a global research-driven pharmaceutical company and Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to human and animal health. Hilleman Laboratories’ mission is to develop affordable vaccines and biologics against infectious diseases that affect low- and middle-income countries. The company’s expertise in end-to-end product development is targeted at creating novel vaccines and biologics in areas of high unmet need as well as adapting existing vaccines and biologics with more effective delivery tools to meet challenging environments in developing countries. Hilleman Laboratories also seeks to collaborate with local, regional and global partners and stakeholders, including policymakers and governments, to facilitate wider, affordable access to life-saving vaccines and biologics.
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