Sanofi to invest $478 mil. in vaccine plant in Singapore

14, Apr. 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic places unprecedented demand on science to deliver solutions, Sanofi scientists are working harder than ever before to develop medicines that improve the lives of people living with disease. The company will build a cutting-edge plant in Singapore to produce vaccines. (Photo courtesy of Sanofi)
As the COVID-19 pandemic places unprecedented demand on science to deliver solutions, Sanofi scientists are working harder than ever before to develop medicines that improve the lives of people living with disease. The company will build a cutting-edge plant in Singapore to produce vaccines. (Photo courtesy of Sanofi)

Singapore, NNA - Sanofi will invest $478.4 million (400 million euros) over five years to create a leading-edge vaccine production site in Singapore.

Pushing the boundaries of operations through innovative manufacturing and digital technologies, the new plant will provide the global biopharmaceutical company with the ability to produce innovative vaccines on a massive scale for Asia, and quickly respond to any future pandemic risks when it is fully operational in 2016.

The Singapore plant, which will complement Sanofi’s existing manufacturing capacities in Europe and North America, will become a regional center of excellence for vaccines production in Asia, said the French drug maker in a press release.

Partnering the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) for the project, Sanofi said it is expected to create up to 200 local jobs and enhance Singapore’s position as a regional innovation hub for the healthcare industry.

Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur, said, "As a major healthcare player, it’s our responsibility to act and to meet the unprecedented growing demands for vaccines. By investing in a new production site in Singapore, Sanofi is aiming to strengthen production capacity to meet ever-growing global demands on vaccines and answer more rapidly to future pandemics.”

Beh Swan Gin, chairman of EDB, which is a statutory board, said, "Sanofi's decision to locate its first-in-Asia digitally-enabled vaccine production center in Singapore, to supply markets in the region and beyond, is an endorsement of Singapore’s position as a leading centre for advanced manufacturing.”

He added that EDB will continue to promote digitalization, automation and innovation to "transform the manufacturing sector and create good jobs for Singaporeans”.

Last week, the Singapore government announced it has been in talks with several pharmaceutical giants to produce vaccines and therapeutics in Singapore, adding that a $130 million facility was already in the pipeline.

It said pharmaceutical companies have invested in Singapore include Sanofi, Amgen, Pfizer, and GSK.

Sanofi said its factory here will be designed with a central unit housing several fully digitalized modules that allow three to four vaccines to be produced simultaneously.

In addition, the plant will have the flexibility to leverage multiple vaccine manufacturing technology platforms based on different cell types.

This modularity and flexibility will allow the production of a specific vaccine to be prioritized in a faster time frame, depending on public health needs.

The project is currently entering its design phase with construction expected to begin in the third quarter of this year.

The five-year project is expected to see the site fully operational in the first quarter of 2026.

As part of Sanofi’s environmental strategy, the site is designed to be carbon-neutral. It will reduce both resource consumption and waste production significantly, said the company.

The latest investment reflects Sanofi’s overall growth strategy, with vaccines contributing as a key growth driver through differentiated products, market expansion and new launches. It follows a March announcement that the company will build a new facility in Canada to increase its global availability of high-dose influenza vaccine.

Sanofi, with its global vaccine entity Sanofi Pasteur, is a leading vaccine developer and manufacturer. Sanofi offers a portfolio of vaccines to protect children, adolescents, and adults from diseases such as influenza, infectious diseases, and endemic diseases.

According to the IMARC Group, the global vaccine market is expected to reach $57 billion by 2025, pushed by the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 virus.