Covance has doubled its genomics footprint in Singapore as part of a significant expansion of its central-laboratory facility in the island state.

With around 2,700 sq m of laboratory space, up from some 1,600 sq m of space in 2011, the Singapore facility is now the largest of its kind in Singapore, providing clinical-testing services to clients in Asia including South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia and India, said the US-based drug-development services company.

Staffing at the facility has increased by 50% over the last three years, to more than 180 employees now. The expansion also adds capabilities in anatomic pathology and nutritional chemistry.

Like Covance’s central laboratories in Indianapolis (US), Geneva (Switzerland), Shanghai (China) and Tokyo (Japan), the Singapore facility continues to provide a full-service offering that includes chemistry, immunology, haematology, flow cytometry, genomics, anatomic pathology and microbiology, the company noted.

Increasing demand

Covance said the expansion was in response to increasing demand for efficient, high-quality clinical-trial data and support in the Asia Pacific region.

It is also an important component of Covance’s strategic investment plans for the Asia Pacific region, which have included recent growth in operations in China and Japan, the company added.

The Singapore operations started with clinical-development services in 1996, after which Covance opened its central laboratory in 2000, adding genomics services in 2006. The following year saw the opening of a nutritional-chemistry and food-science laboratory in Singapore.

Covance has been in the Asia Pacific region since 1988 and now fields around 1,000 staff there, providing drug-development services from preclinical trials to commercialisation in 12 countries.

That includes office locations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.