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Japan's Chugai to position Singapore subsidiary as permanent global drug discovery research centre

05 February 2024 | News

Chugai aims to continuously create development projects using its antibody engineering technologies and mid-size molecule drug discovery technologies

Image credit: shutterstock

Image credit: shutterstock

Chugai Pharmaceutical has decided to position its research subsidiary in Singapore, Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR) as a permanent global drug discovery research centre by abolishing business termination deadline and to expand its mid-size molecule drug discovery capabilities.

This decision will strengthen Chugai group's drug discovery capabilities, to achieve global first-class drug discovery as set forth in its growth strategy TOP I 2030. The company has decided to abolish the business termination deadline of CPR, which was until 2026, and position CPR as a permanent overseas research base. In addition, the company will move research facilities within Singapore to accommodate the expansion of functions.

CPR was established in 2012 to conduct research focused on the discovery of novel antibody drugs by utilising innovative antibody engineering technologies owned by Chugai. The operation period of CPR was initially planned to be five years until 2016, but Chugai has since extended the deadline until 2026, and has started to develop new antibody discovery technologies and to create mid-size molecule drugs. CPR has, so far, developed ten candidate antibodies, including crovalimab. Simultaneously, CPR has built a screening platform for mid-size molecule drug discovery technology, which the Chugai group regards as its third technological pillar. This platform has contributed to the creation of multiple lead compounds, expanding Chugai's pipeline. The firm plans to expand the functions of CPR in the creation of mid-size molecule drugs, which will involve the chemical synthesis of peptides and the relocation of research facilities.

In relation to the relocation of CPR’s laboratories, the firm has decided to invest SGD 60 million, which includes a capital infusion of SGD 20 million from Chugai. This investment will cover the costs of the transfer, including site renovations. As a result, CPR’s capitalisation will increase to SGD 21.5 million.

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