Pharma Focus Asia
KP - Sustainable Packaging Solutions

GlaxoSmithKline's New R&D Plant in Singapore

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is investing US$ 115 million in a new R&D pilot plant at its Global Manufacturing Supply (GMS) site in Jurong, Singapore. The construction of the new plant started in 2005 and is scheduled to become operational in 2007. The pilot plant is being set up to increase production capacity and accommodate the company’s new chemical entities.

The number of new chemical entities (NCEs) that GSK is developing has increased by nearly 80%, since the company’s inception in 2000. The new pilot plant is being set up at the same location as the existing manufacturing site. This will help GSK increase its capabilities and capacity. The Jurong R&D plant will also enable the company to leverage existing capabilities and meet the increasing demand for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and deliver new medication to patients.


GSK's new R&D pilot plant project will be equipped with state-of-the-art plant and laboratory facilities. The facility will have the capability of playing a key role in the conversion of experimental molecules to prescription medicines.

The main functions of GSK’s high-tech laboratory will be to develop commercially viable products and to manufacture clinical trial supplies. In the first case, the process will involve developing chemistry, analytical and engineering science and technology in order to deliver commercially viable products. Manufacturing of clinical trial supplies will enable GSK to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of new medicines that are still under development.

Since the R&D plant is located at the same GMS site as GSK’s manufacturing facility, the company can optimize cross-functionality and capabilities. The two facilities can perform their respective functions, while leveraging the advantages that proximity offers by enhancing scientific sharing and operational resources.

The two facilities allow GSK to provide a seamless transfer of technologies and the ability to tailor process designs to expedite commercial manufacturing of new medicines.

GSK plans to equip the pilot plant with the latest process analytical technologies that will facilitate testing of the reactor contents on-line, with no manual intervention. This plan is in accordance to recent US FDA guidelines that specify that pharmaceutical companies must increase the use of specific technology in the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

The plans for Jurong pilot plant include high levels of automation that will enable flexibility of operations and will facilitate remote real-time monitoring of processes by technical experts located at GSK R&D facilities in Europe and the US. This level of automation will help increase interaction with GSK’s global scientific talent pool and reduce time for travel to the site.

The plans for the plant also include a sophisticated data management system that will enable predictive and on-line batch quality reports. Such information is critical in the development of the processes, which will be transferred between the pilot plant and the manufacturing facility.


The R&D facility is indicative of GSK’s investment in upstream manufacturing process development, which involves producing high specificity and high quality molecules that are both cost-effective and efficient. GSK currently employs 600 people in the Jurong manufacturing facility and makes nine pharmaceutical compounds. The new R&D plant will need another 40 scientists that the company hopes to recruit from Singapore.

Specifications Table:

  • Company Name
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Location
  • Jurong, Singapore
  • Plant Type
  • R&D Pilot Plant
  • Date of Start
  • 2005
  • Date of Completion
  • 2007
  • Estimated Investment
  • US $ 115 million
  • Key players
  • Sponsors/Partners
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Latest Issue
Get instant
access to our latest e-book
Standard BioTools™MFA + MMA 2024CPHI Chine || PMEC China 2024Gibco Adherent Kidney Media PanelAsia Healthcare Week 2024CPHI Korea 2024Equinix accelerated medical research...CHEMICAL INDONESIA 2024Thermofisher - Antibody Therapeutic PolishingINALAB 2024 Thermo Scientific - DynaDrive and DynaSpinDigital Health Asia 2024ISPE Singapore Affiliate Conference & Exhibition 2024Rehab Expo 20242024 PDA Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Quality Conference2024 PDA Cell and Gene Pharmaceutical Products Conference 2024 PDA Aseptic Manufacturing Excellence Conference2024 PDA Aseptic Processing of Biopharmaceuticals ConferencePharma Quality Excellence Awards 20244th Annual Pharma GMP Quality Management 20243rd World ADC Asia 2024
Searching for an end-to-end patient tech solution?