AbbVie is to invest $320 million to set up a facility in Singapore, establishing its first manufacturing presence in Asia.

The plant will make "emerging compounds within AbbVie’s oncology and immunology pipeline to serve markets globally" and will become fully operational in 2019. The initiative will add about 250 jobs to the company's staff in Singapore, where it currently employs 120 people.

Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, AbbVie's head of operations, said that "our presence in Singapore will help assure geographic balance and continuity of product supply as well as increased capacity to deliver on our growing biologics and small molecule product pipeline".

Kevin Lai, director of biomedical sciences at the Singapore Economic Development Board, said the investment is a testament to the country's  "strong biologics manufacturing capabilities". He added that Singapore will be "investing heavily in human capital development and new programmes will be put in place to train biologics manufacturing talent ahead of demand".
AbbVie's currently has 12 manufacturing sites across the USA, Europe and Puerto Rico, and in Asia it has R&D operations in Tokyo and Shanghai.