SINGAPORE – Chinese biotechnology company WuXi Biologics has announced plans to invest US$1.4 billion (S$2 billion) to expand its research, development and large-scale drug substance and drug product manufacturing capabilities in Singapore.

In a statement on Tuesday (July 19), the Hong Kong-listed company said that its 10-year investment plan will see it establish a new Singapore facility, which will add 120,000 litres biomanufacturing capacity to its global network by 2026.

The new site is projected to employ 1,500 research, development and manufacturing staff when completed.

WuXi Biologics provides drug development and production for the likes of pharmaceutical companies. 

News agency Reuters previously reported that the company makes ingredients for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The biotechnology company currently employs more than 10,000 staff in China, the United States, Ireland, Germany and Singapore.

WuXi Biologics’ investment is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), it said in its statement.

Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of EDB, said that WuXi Biologics’ investment is a testament to Singapore’s position as a global biopharmaceutical hub and will strengthen the Republic’s attractiveness to biotech innovators and start-ups.

WuXi Biologics chief executive Chris Chen said that the company’s investment will “enhance the sustainable growth and success of the Singapore biotech ecosystem” and also provide the global biologics industry with a more robust supply chain.

WuXi Biologics said the new facility will become a critical part of the global network it has established to meet the needs of its global clients.

It will also reinforce the company’s strategy to ensure that customer projects can be fulfilled at multiple facilities globally to mitigate potential risks.