Industry giants join new A*STAR consortium

The program will target pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals industry industry issues in Singapore

Kelsey Kaustinen
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SINGAPORE—Pfizer Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., Glaxo WellcomeManufacturing Pte. Ltd. and Siemens Pte. Ltd. have signed on to establish a newAgency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) R&D ConsortiumProgram. The consortium, Innovative Processing of Specialties andPharmaceuticals (iPSP), was launched by A*STAR's Institute of Chemical andEngineering Sciences, and will provide a platform for pharmaceutical andspecialty chemicals industry members to confront challenges such as costs,regulatory compliance and production as they seek to move drugs from trials tomarkets.
"ICES has built strong and deep capabilities in theunderstanding of process science and technologies, and the time is ripe forsuch depth and breadth of knowledge to be applied to the chemicals andpharmaceutical industries," Dr. Keith Carpenter, executive director of ICES,said in a press release. "By identifying common research focus, companies canmutually benefit from joint research. This will enable companies to addressindustry-wide challenges and further reinforce the competitiveness ofSingapore's chemicals industry."
The program will make use of ICES established resources,including the Kilo Scale Laboratory, a pilot-scale multipurpose continuousplant and a fully equipped development laboratory. Under the auspices of theiPSP, research will be undertaken in areas such as process analytics, qualityby design and continuous manufacturing systems. No financial details for theagreement were released.
"For Singapore manufacturing business to sustain globalcompetitiveness, employing technological advancements in the areas of energymanagement and manufacturing operations is essential. The iPSP program providesa great platform to move ideas in technology to real-world solutions," GeorgeRouthier, managing director of Pfizer Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., said in a pressrelease.
The initiative also unites industry leaders in the pursuit of'next-generation manufacturing' technologies that could improve issues such ascost, quality, environmental impact and process robustness in pharmaceuticalmanufacturing processes.
"At a time when companies in the pharmaceutical industry arechallenged on speed in new product development, manufacturing processinnovation, consistency in product quality, regulatory conformance andenvironmental sustainability, an integrative approach to the application ofcutting-edge technologies will be crucial to future success," said Lim HockHeng, managing director of GlaxoSmithKline's Pharmaceutical Manufacturing SitesSingapore. "The launch of iPSP is very timely."
ICES was established in 2002 to conduct world-classscientific research, develop novel technologies and support scientists andengineers in fostering economic growth in Singapore. The organization'sresearch areas include chemistry and chemical engineering science as well as"advanced analytical characterization and measurement to develop state of theart technology for the petrochemical, general chemical, fine chemical andpharmaceutical industries."
SOURCE: ICES press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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