US biotech company that helped in Covid-19 research opens manufacturing facility in S'pore

SINGAPORE – American biotech company 10x Genomics officially opened its first manufacturing facility outside the United States in Singapore on Monday (Oct 25), adding to its capacity to produce consumables for research into diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

It joins more than 60 multinational medtech companies in Singapore that undertake a range of activities from manufacturing to research and development.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said at the launch event that Singapore, as a biomedical sciences hub in Asia, is well positioned to enable medtech companes to tap regional opportunities.

“Fifty of the world’s leading medtech firms have set up their regional headquarters here, and we are also seeing a strong presence of more than 25 research and development centres established by medtech multinational corporations in Singapore,” he said.

10x Genomics’ products include instruments, consumables and software to help researchers conduct life science investigation such as cell analysis, allowing them to understand disease cells and aid in developing the medical treatment process.

An example of this was how its technology helped scientists to uncover variations in lung cell response to Covid-19, leading to an understanding of how and why some people get sick from the virus while others remain asymptomatic.

10x Genomics’ Singapore hub occupies more than 53,000 sq ft of the Solaris @ Kallang 164 complex, including automated production suites for reagent manufacturing, and a fully equipped lab for training customers and partners in the company’s single-cell and spatial technologies.

The company began initial commercial operations at the site last year.

Chief executive Serge Saxonov, 44, who co-founded the company in 2012 with its chief scientific officer and president Ben Hindson, said: “Our research and development work has resulted in a broad intellectual property portfolio with more than 1,100 patents and patent applications covering the breadth of our products, as well as many important application areas.”

He added: “Opportunities like curing cancer, solving Alzheimer’s, preventing infectious diseases… All these advances are becoming tangibly possible, but they will not happen tomorrow. They will take time, but we see them unfolding over the coming years and decades.”

Currently, 10x Genomics has more than 80 employees in Singapore in manufacturing, corporate functions and commercial roles, with plans to expand the company.

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