ASTRAZENECA has said it would invest $1.5bn (£1.2bn) to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore to produce antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), a next-generation cancer treatment.

The FTSE 100 firm announced that the plant would be its first to cover end-toend manufacturing for ADCs and was scheduled to open in 2029.

ADCs deliver toxic cancer-killing agents directly to cancer cells through a targeted antibody, aiming to avoid damage to healthy tissue.

Astra currently has a broad portfolio of in-house ADCs, including six whollyowned ADCs in the clinic and more in pre-clinical development. They have become increasingly important to the firm as it believes ADCs could eventually replace conventional treatment.

Pascal Soriot, Astra's chief executive, said that ADCs "have shown enormous potential to replace traditional chemotherapy for patients across many settings".

The plant is due to be Astra's first manufacturing facility in Singapore and is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board. Astra's UK rival GSK opened a plant in the island nation in 2022 to manufacture a key ingredient for ADCs.

The firm said last month that it wanted to build independent supply chains for major markets amid geopolitical tension between the US and China.

Soriot said: "Singapore is one of the world's most attractive countries for investment given its reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing."

Png Cheong Boon, chair of the Singapore Economic Development Board, added that the news marked a "strong show of confidence in Singapore's biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and talent".

The announcement comes as Astrazeneca prepares to share more details on its investment plans at its investor conference today in Cambridge.

(c) 2024 City A.M., source Newspaper