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Singapore to Boost Biologics and Vaccine Manufacturing

To improve Singapore’s biologics manufacturing capabilities, top pharmaceutical companies will collaborate with research groups from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and its innovation and enterprise company, NTUitive.

Through the Biologics Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore (BioPIPS), a consortium founded by A*STAR with assistance from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), their relationship will be formally established.

BioPIPS aims to expand Singapore’s biologics production capabilities, including those for vaccines and recombinant therapeutic proteins. Biologics and vaccinations were crucial in averting severe sickness and saving lives worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading industry professionals and Singapore’s research ecosystem will join forces through the consortium to increase manufacturing productivity, boost operational effectiveness, and meet sustainability objectives. The consortium’s goal is to best-in-class and position Singapore’s biologics manufacturing capabilities for the introduction of new products and cutting-edge production techniques.

Professor Lim Keng Hui, Assistant Chief Executive, Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR stated that new opportunities will arise as the biomanufacturing industry goes through significant changes brought on by the rapid pace of digitalisation, Industry 4.0, and the need for greater sustainability.

A*STAR seeks to contribute its R&D capabilities through BioPIPS to help the local biomanufacturing industry become more agile and better positioned to benefit from new products and technologies. Also, in its Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2025 Plan, Singapore prioritises biopharmaceutical production.

BioPIPS expands on the consortium concept created by the Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore (PIPS), which was intended to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in the production of small molecule pharmaceuticals consisting of chemical compounds.

Based on the success of PIPS, BioPIPS seeks to strengthen Singapore’s innovative capabilities in the production of biologics and vaccines by utilising the strengths of the top pharmaceutical firms and academic institutions.

The programme will create cutting-edge production technologies and solutions that are highly productive, sustainable, and innovative. Singapore is eager to expand collaborations with businesses that share its values to enhance its status as a centre to produce biopharmaceuticals worldwide.

BioPIPS will specifically feature three workstreams: First is the Sensing and Modelling Workstream intends to use smart sensors, mechanistic modelling, and machine learning to provide streamlined and quicker procedures. Data analytics will make it possible to effectively translate acquired process information into performance enhancements, which will benefit the manufacturing process.

Second is the Sustainability Workstream concentrates on addressing sustainability issues in the production of biologics and vaccines, which frequently require single-use (disposable) equipment because of the ultra-sterile conditions required for product purity. To address this challenge, this workstream will investigate the use of innovative materials, circular economy strategies, and models to encourage more resilient and sustainable supply chains.

And the third is the Compliant Agility Workstream which aims to increase productivity in manufacturing facilities while preserving compliance status by eliminating manual operations and utilising tools like robotics and cutting-edge analytics.

The Manufacturing 2030 vision of Singapore, which intends to anchor leading manufacturing operations to increase the nation’s manufacturing value-add by 50% from 2020, is consistent with BioPIPS.

The solutions created by BioPIPS will also improve Singapore’s capacity to meet the rising demand for biologics and vaccines around the world and give local pharmaceutical firms the tools they need to expand and react more quickly to pandemics in the future.

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