Singapore could be considered the nucleus of clinical research in the Asia-Pacific region, it is a natural hub for manufacturers and clinicians. As for infrastructure, Singapore possesses the best healthcare system in Asia, the World Health Organization says, and the 6th best in the world.
It also has a government keen to promote clinical work and keep national immunization rates high; in recent years, it has invested $1.1 billion into vaccine, translational and biomarker research. Plus, its stringent intellectual-property laws and good clinical practice (GCP) guidelines offer a sense of security and assurance to pharma clients.
Of course, being such a compact city-state, Singapore’s patient pool is only so big. With its small population, clinical trial opportunities there are limited to Phase I and II work, leaving heavily populated China and India to grab the bulk of late-stage trials. Singapore will likely never outshine China and India in the clinical research field. However, the Singaporean government recognizes its limitations and, instead, focuses on its strengths.
Industry players said that Singapore would benefit from collaborations with more regional companies rather than just tying up with larger Western firms. They are expecting new products to enter the market. Going forward, vaccine manufacturers in developing countries are looking to produce new products with new technologies on new platforms and with the help of external research parties.
Singapore is seen as being able to tap into the growth not just because of its strategic location, but also because of its reputation for strong regulation in the biotech and pharmaceutical markets.
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