Drug makers to jointly develop new technologies

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A new scheme unveiled yesterday is primed to give drug makers and the wider manufacturing sector a shot in the arm amid disruptive change.

The initiative centres on bringing pharmaceutical giants together to jointly develop new technologies and enhance productivity.

Biomedical manufacturing is a key contributor to the overall manufacturing sector, which last year made up one-fifth of the country's gross domestic product.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran said yesterday that the Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore (Pips) "will bring together Singapore's public sector research capabilities and the domain expertise of key players in the pharma industry to improve and transform the manufacturing operations and technologies of the industry".

It is spearheaded by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, in partnership with the National University of Singapore.

They yesterday announced a deal to bring on board leading multinationals GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), MSD International and Pfizer Asia Pacific.

The Pips scheme involves developing continuous manufacturing to improve active pharmaceutical ingredients and exploring bio-catalysis technologies to make high-value complex chemicals more sustainably. - THE STRAITS TIMES