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Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Opening Ceremony of SCG Cell Therapy cGMP manufacturing facility and R&D centre

Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Opening Ceremony of SCG Cell Therapy cGMP manufacturing facility and R&D centre

Mr Frank Wang, CEO, SCG Cell Therapy,

 

Prof Ulrike Protzer, Chair of Virology at the Technical University of Munich and Scientific Founder of SCG Cell Therapy,

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

 

1. Good morning.

 

2. I am delighted to join you today at the opening of SCG Cell Therapy’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) manufacturing facility and R&D centre. The new cGMP pilot facility is equipped with advanced technology to manufacture novel cell therapy products, such as T-cell receptor therapy, an area where SCG is leading.

 

Strengthening Singapore as a biotechnology hub

 

3. As part of Singapore’s Manufacturing 2030 vision, we aim to position Singapore as a global business, innovation, and talent hub for advanced manufacturing. The biotechnology sector is an important flank of our strategy. Today, we have a thriving ecosystem comprising both local and global companies pursuing their ambitions in biotechnology from Singapore. This is supported by a workforce of close to 26,000 workers in the wider biomedical sciences cluster.

 

4. Our biotech sector grew on the back of Singapore’s key strengths – from having a deep pool of skilled talent and a vibrant research ecosystem to being well-connected to Asia and the world. The presence of sector-specific programmes, such as the national Singapore Cell Therapy Advanced Manufacturing Programme (STAMP) which supports the making of scalable and good-quality cells, also plays a vital role in the advancement of our biotech sector.

 

5. SCG Cell Therapy is one of our promising local startups. The company focuses on developing cell therapy solutions to treat some of the most common cancer-causing conditions in Asia.

 

a. SCG Cell Therapy developed its first cell therapy product, SCG101, with the support of agencies like the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). SCG101 has received clinical trial approvals from regulatory authorities in Singapore, the U.S., China and Hong Kong.

 

b. The new cGMP facility employs cutting-edge closed and automated cell therapy manufacturing technologies. This enables SCG Cell Therapy to manufacture high-quality products safely and at scale, and significantly reduce the cost of cell therapy treatment.

 

6. Headquartered in Singapore, and with teams in China and Germany, SCG Cell Therapy offers the entire drug development cycle - from research and development (R&D), GMP manufacturing, and clinical development to commercialisation. The cGMP facility will enable SCG Cell Therapy to further scale its operations. Its development augurs well for the growth of our biotech sector. At the post-clinical stage, SCG Cell Therapy is well-placed to enter the global T-cell therapy market which is expected to grow to US$20 billion in 5 years.[1]

 

Accelerating human health and potential - key focus area of RIE2025

 

7. Apart from the cGMP facility, SCG Cell Therapy is also opening an R&D centre today to facilitate the research of its pipeline of cell therapy product candidates. One of its key research areas targets hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated liver cancer. Liver cancer is the sixth-most common cancer globally, with almost four-fifths of cases originating in Asia. HBV is a leading cause of liver cancer, responsible for around four-fifths of primary liver cancers worldwide. I look forward to these potentially life-saving breakthroughs from SCG Cell Therapy.

 

8. The opening of such R&D facilities will support the Government’s vision and commitment to anchor Singapore as a global innovation node. At the national level, these efforts are guided by our Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) masterplan.

 

a. Accelerating human health and potential is one of the key areas of focus for RIE. The establishment of the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Workgroup under RIE aimed to drive research and translational efforts in the biotech sector. The Workgroup had identified the worldwide bottleneck in cell therapy manufacturing as one of the challenges for the sector.

 

b. To address this, Singapore started the STAMP R&D programme to develop novel manufacturing technologies. We also created the Advanced Cell Therapy and Research Institute, Singapore, or ACTRIS. This national clinical-scale GMP facility supports researchers and biotech firms as they translate their assets into clinical products for manufacturing at scale.

 

9. I am glad that SCG Cell Therapy has fostered partnerships with our public sector research bodies in support of our RIE efforts. SCG Cell Therapy is exploring collaborations with ACTRIS to advance its manufacturing efforts. The company is also deepening its present partnership with A*STAR’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on CGT process development technologies and novel cell therapies.

 

10. Collectively, these efforts will help to achieve our aims to better transform and protect health, advance human potential, and boost Singapore’s economy through R&D.

 

 

Conclusion

 

11. Congratulations to SCG Cell Therapy on the opening of your new cGMP facility and R&D centre. We are proud of your achievements. I look forward to seeing SCG Cell Therapy thriving amid our biotech ecosystem and advancing cell therapy technology to deliver breakthrough life-saving products to patients.

 

12. Thank you.

 

 



[1] Report by Grand View Research.

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