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Singapore Is One of the Fastest Growing Bioclusters in Asia; Wave of Investments in Drug Discovery and Translational Research
Date:6/17/2008

Strong Government Support Continues to Draw Top Research Institutes, Talent, and Corporate Labs That Are Looking to Place Strategic Bets for the

Future

SAN DIEGO, June 17 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Singapore's investment of more than US$2.1 billion in the biomedical sciences sector has seeded one of the fastest growing bioclusters in the world. R&D spending in the biomedical sciences grew by more than 24% to reach US$760 million in 2006 (from 2005), while the number of research scientists and engineers working in the sector has similarly grown by more than 12% to exceed 2,000 people.

More than 50 companies have established biomedical sciences research operations in Singapore. The majority are involved in drug discovery and translational research. These decisions attest to the industry's recognition of Singapore's value as a leading, world-class R&D hub providing access to global talent, world class scientific and clinical infrastructure as well as growth opportunities in Asia.

Recent expansions include Pfizer's multi-therapeutic clinical research unit and Takeda's neuroscience research lab. Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases extended their study into malaria, while Lilly expanded its research into cancer in addition to metabolic diseases. The new Lilly-Singapore Center for Drug Discovery, comprising 150 scientists, will house its first drug hunting teams in Asia, the only drug discovery groups in Lilly focusing on stem cell biology and epigenetics research.

Complementing the expanding base in drug discovery, Singapore registered a corollary increase in R&D activities amongst diagnostics and research instruments companies. This trend will contribute to Singapore's capabilities in enhancing R&D productivity. Recent announcements include Fluidigm's opening of its Biomedical Product Development Center focusing on next-generation biochips, alongside Qiagen's announcement of a molecular diagnostics
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SOURCE EDB Singapore and Agency for Science, Technology andResearch
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