Chugai pours $374M into its Singapore R&D shop

Japanese drugmaker Chugai Pharmaceutical is planning a major expansion of its Singapore research outpost, laying out 476 million Singapore dollars ($374 million) over 7 years as it hits the gas on antibody research.

The Singapore facility, called Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR), launched in 2012 with the plan of spending roughly $160 million through 2016. Now the company is upping its bets on the facility, unveiling a plan that will see it hire about 40 more researchers and expand its lab space by 2021, according to Singapore's Straits Times.

"CPR has progressed as initially expected, and this additional investment will make it one of the largest pharmaceutical R&D operations in Singapore," the company said in a statement accompanying its 2014 results.

Chugai, majority-owned by Roche ($RHHBY), is investing in the R&D prowess of Singapore's Biopolis, a life sciences cluster also home to GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Novartis ($NVS) and Illumina ($ILMN). CPR is devoted to antibody discovery, handling the parent company's early-stage research.

Meanwhile, the company has repeatedly downplayed speculation that Roche was looking to trade roughly $10 billion for the 40% of Chugai it doesn't already own. Those rumors came to a halt in August amid reports that Roche was no longer interested after shelling out $8.3 billion for InterMune.

- read the story
- check out Chugai's presentation (PDF)