Japan-based Chugai Pharmaceutical has revealed plans to expand its research subsidiary in Singapore, Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR), in order to enhance its drug discovery capabilities.

As part of the expansion, the company is extending the operations of the subsidiary for additional five years from 2022 to 2026, with SGD282m ($207.03m) investment.

CPR was founded in 2012 to carry out research for the discovery of new antibody drugs using Chugai’s antibody engineering technologies.

Originally, the operation period was planned to be five years until 2016, but an initial investment of SGD476m ($349.46m) was announced for ten years from 2012 to 2021.

Chugai Pharmaceutical Research and Translational Clinical Research executive vice-president Hisafumi Okabe said: “Chugai Group’s drug discovery approach has successfully generated new breakthrough drugs including Actemra and Hemlibra by utilising our proprietary advantage including antibody engineering technologies.

“We seek to accelerate creation of drug candidates with the next-generation antibody technologies by combining expertise of our three research laboratories, CPR, Kamakura Research Laboratories, and Fuji Gotemba Research Laboratories, toward continuous creation of innovation in the future.”

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By GlobalData
“We seek to accelerate creation of drug candidates with the next-generation antibody technologies.”

The company is also planning to build a new synthetic research facility at its Ukima Research Laboratories in Tokyo, Japan, to advance the process development of small and medium-sized molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Chugai will equip the new building with research facilities for high-potency APIs (HPAPIs). The facility will feature advanced containment technologies to ensure safety by preventing leakage and exposure to chemical compounds.

Additionally, the company will install new equipment and instruments in order to increase research efficiency and adopt a layout that expedites communication among researchers.

The improved innovation and research productivity are aimed at accelerating the process development for new therapeutic candidates.