Agilent former headquarters in Palo AltoImage via Wikipedia

05:55 AM Jun 20, 2009

United States-based Agilent Technologies has opened a new plant in Singapore to make instruments that will speed up the identification of new diseases like the Influenza A (H1N1) virus and help accelerate drug production.

The multi-million dollar life-sciences facility is the first of its kind for Agilent outside the US.

"With this manufacturing here, it will add to production volume that will come out of Singapore and add to the increased industrial output from Singapore," said Dr Beh Swan Gin, managing director of the Economic Development Board.

About one-sixth of Agilent's US$5.8 billion ($8.4 billion) global revenue last year came from the life sciences sector.

The firm declined to reveal how much it has invested in its Singapore plant, except to say that it will contribute a significant portion of its overall life sciences revenue and boost its regional presence.

"With the inception of this manufacturing operation, it can be used for customised solutions for customers around the region," said Mr Gooi Soon Chai, president of Agilent Technologies for Singapore and Malaysia.

The instruments made at the Singapore plant will be used by pharmaceutical companies for mass commercial production of drugs, said Agilent.

According to research firm Frost and Sullivan, Asia's healthcare market was worth some US$240 billion last year.

Channel NewsAsia

From TODAY, Business – Weekend, 20/21-Jun-2009; see the source article here.

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