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Written reply to PQ on manufacturing of vaccines

Written reply to PQ on manufacturing of vaccines

Questions

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what is the Government's strategy to attract international pharmaceutical companies to locate their vaccine manufacturing plants in Singapore; and (b) whether the Government has plans to carve out a role for our small and medium enterprises to play a role in the local production of these vaccines.

Written Answer by Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing

1. Singapore has a globally competitive pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. Many pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, Sanofi and Amgen, invest here to leverage on our skilled talent, commitment to research and development, and excellent global connectivity.

2. Our ongoing efforts to focus on innovation has helped us to build up a base of local companies in the biomedical sciences industry. We have supported our local companies such as Tessa Therapeutics that specialises in cell therapy for cancer treatment and Advanced MedTech that is a pioneer in urology treatments, by partnering them with global companies, marketing their products and services to overseas customers in global markets, and facilitating efforts to conduct R&D, leverage technology and prototype new products. 

3. This strategy of attracting global pharmaceutical companies to Singapore, and building up our local SMEs, is serving us well in our fight against COVID-19. To help vaccine developers ramp up production, we are in discussions with global pharmaceutical companies to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines out of Singapore. To ensure that Singapore has early and equitable access to vaccines, we are also participating in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility with other like-minded countries.  Locally, companies specialising in diagnostics such as Mirxes and Acumen Diagnostics are manufacturing diagnostic kits. Other local companies such as Proteona and Immunoscape are leveraging on their innovative R&D capabilities and sharing their insights on human immune response against the virus, with pharmaceutical companies and vaccine developers.  Tychan, a local biotechnology startup is also developing a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of COVID-19.  

4. We will continue to do what we must to maintain our innovation eco-system including attracting global companies to establish their manufacturing capabilities in Singapore, and supporting our local companies to pivot into new areas to capture emerging opportunities. 

 
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