As well as building its own biologics facility in Singapore, AbbVie has acquired a small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing site in the island state’s Tuas Biomedical Park.

The company says the facility will expand its operations for small molecule and biologics manufacturing, “providing increased capacity for compounds within AbbVie's immunology and oncology pipelines”. The site, the firm’s first manufacturing facility in Asia, is 120,000 square metres is expected to be fully operational by 2016.

Earlier this year, AbbVie unveiled plans to invest $320 million to set up a biologics plant in Singapore that should be fully operational in 2019. The initiative will add about 250 jobs to the company's staff in the country, where it currently employs 160 people.

The new deal was welcomed by Kevin Lai, head of biomedical sciences at the Singapore Economic Development Board. He said the country “offers a neutral and trusted location for pharmaceutical companies to orchestrate and expand their operations across the region”.

AbbVie currently has R&D functions in Tokyo and Shanghai, China, as well as commercial operations throughout the region.

The announcement came just after Amgen said it has completed construction of its first ‘next-generation’ biomanufacturing facility, also located in the Tuas park.