Covance bets on Singapore with central lab expansion

Covance ($CVD) is counting on Asia for an explosion in drug development, and the company has expanded its core lab capacity by 50% in Singapore to serve the growing market for clinical testing in the region.

The new 8,800-square-foot facility is the largest of its kind in Singapore, Covance said, and it doubles Covance's genomics footprint in the country. The lab also boosts Covance's capabilities in anatomic pathology and nutritional chemistry, the company said, helping it recruit clients in high-growth countries like South Korea, Taiwan and India.

"For the last 13 years Covance has provided central laboratory testing services in Singapore, where we have seen increasing demand for efficient, high-quality clinical trial data and support," Central Laboratory Services VP Jon Koch said in a statement. "This expansion will help us better serve both our local and multinational customers' R&D needs in key therapeutic areas like oncology and metabolic diseases while reflecting Covance's continued commitment to the Asia Pacific region."

Singapore's geography--almost equidistant from India, Japan and Australia--makes it a natural hub for global trials, Covance said, and the local government has invested billions to build up its biotech infrastructure over the last few years, supporting biomarker research and strengthening intellectual property laws. Kevin Lai, the biomedical director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said Covance's investment is a testament to how far the city-state has come.

"Covance's expansion reaffirms Singapore's proposition as a strategic location for CROs to base their regional operations as they expand to tap on the fast growing opportunities in Asia," Lai said in a statement. "Its investment is a strong vote of confidence in our efforts in developing Singapore as a leading biomedical sciences hub with strong capabilities to support translational and clinical research."

- read the press release

Special Report: Singapore - Top Emerging CRO Markets