EYE-care firm Alcon yesterday officially opened its first Asia-Pacific eye-care drug manufacturing plant here, a facility housing production, packaging and distribution under one roof.
The $200 million plant, which started commercial operations last July, spans 330,000 sq ft of space in Tuas Biomedical Park.
It is equipped with high-speed aseptic filling capabilities to produce 25 million bottles of drugs annually, making it the only site here that makes sterile finished products in such large volumes.
Alcon, a unit of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, now has 150 employees at the plant, and is looking to increase headcount to 190 by 2018, given the growing prevalence of eye problems in Asia fanning demand for eye-care products.
Roy Acosta, the area president for Alcon Asia-Pacific, said: "The need for quality eye care is increasing rapidly across Asia, as the population grows and ages. With the opening of this manufacturing facility, Alcon makes a strong investment in the future of its business in Asia, and ensures that its innovative products are readily available to those who need them."
Among the products being made here are the prescription eye-drop Systane and the antihistamine for eye-related allergies Patanol. These are largely meant for export to Asian and European markets.
The plant represents Alcon's second investment in Singapore, after the company's contact lens manufacturing facility which opened here in 2005.
It also adds to the diversity of Novartis' main manufacturing facilities located here, which now span general pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, contacts lens production and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.
Yeoh Keat Chuan, the managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), said: "Alcon's first ophthalmic pharmaceutical manufacturing facility here strengthens our position as a global biomedical hub. To support this growing sector, Singapore will continue to work with companies to develop dedicated infrastructure, industry-ready talent and manufacturing capabilities."
Infrastructure plans include a one-stop vendors hub, slated for completion by next year. Called JTC BioMed One, it will house third-party biomedical manufacturing support-services providers, he said.
The government has also announced the extension of the East-West MRT line beyond the current western terminal of Joo Koon. Costing $3.5 billion and expected to be ready in 2016, the extension will create better connectivity to the biomedical park.

EYE-care firm Alcon yesterday officially opened its first Asia-Pacific eye-care drug manufacturing plant here, a facility housing production, packaging and distribution under one roof.

The $200 million plant, which started commercial operations last July, spans 330,000 sq ft of space in Tuas Biomedical Park.

It is equipped with high-speed aseptic filling capabilities to produce 25 million bottles of drugs annually, making it the only site here that makes sterile finished products in such large volumes.

Alcon, a unit of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, now has 150 employees at the plant, and is looking to increase headcount to 190 by 2018, given the growing prevalence of eye problems in Asia fanning demand for eye-care products.

Roy Acosta, the area president for Alcon Asia-Pacific, said: "The need for quality eye care is increasing rapidly across Asia, as the population grows and ages. With the opening of this manufacturing facility, Alcon makes a strong investment in the future of its business in Asia, and ensures that its innovative products are readily available to those who need them."

Among the products being made here are the prescription eye-drop Systane and the antihistamine for eye-related allergies Patanol. These are largely meant for export to Asian and European markets.

The plant represents Alcon's second investment in Singapore, after the company's contact lens manufacturing facility which opened here in 2005.

It also adds to the diversity of Novartis' main manufacturing facilities located here, which now span general pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, contacts lens production and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

Yeoh Keat Chuan, the managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), said: "Alcon's first ophthalmic pharmaceutical manufacturing facility here strengthens our position as a global biomedical hub. To support this growing sector, Singapore will continue to work with companies to develop dedicated infrastructure, industry-ready talent and manufacturing capabilities."

Infrastructure plans include a one-stop vendors hub, slated for completion by next year. Called JTC BioMed One, it will house third-party biomedical manufacturing support-services providers, he said.

The government has also announced the extension of the East-West MRT line beyond the current western terminal of Joo Koon. Costing $3.5 billion and expected to be ready in 2016, the extension will create better connectivity to the biomedical park.