Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., launches Singapore operation

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., the Rockville, Maryland, based vaccines and therapeutics manufacturer, launched operations in Singapore on October 7.

The opening event at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory in Singapore included the launching of EPIC BIO Pte. Ltd., a recently formed Singapore-based joint venture that Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., has developed with Temasek Life Sciences Ventures, Inc. EPIC Bio will develop, manufacture and commercialize pandemic influenza vaccines and therapeutics.

"Emergent is pleased to enhance its presence in Asia-Pacific with initiatives that help carry out our corporate mission - to protect life," Fuad El-Hibri, chairman and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., said.

El-Hibri also explained two reasons behind expanding Singapore operations.

"First, by broadening the scope of Emergent's Singapore operations, not only will it continue to make our present and future biodefense products available, but it will also provide support to the company's ongoing tuberculosis program as well as explore manufacturing and business development opportunities in the region,” El-Hibri said. “Second, by forming EPIC Bio with TLV, Emergent leverages important technology and product development know how to complement TLL's research and development efforts in pandemic influenza."

Quek Swee Kwuan is the assistant managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board. He spoke at length about Singapore and the biopharmaceutical industry.

"Emergent BioSolutions' expansion of its Singapore office and R&D activities here attest to Singapore's importance as a core site in Asia for both leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies,” Kwuan said. “In leveraging Singapore's integrated research network and business capabilities, companies are well-positioned to develop new therapies and business models for the future today."

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., will support EPIC Bio as the joint-venture builds up its operations. EPIC Bio hopes to begin clinical manufacturing of a broad spectrum influenza vaccine candidate in 2011 and to initiate clinical trials of that candidate in 2012.