MEDICALLY REVIEWED

Singapore Fortifies Fight Against Cancer with New Advanced Cell Therapy Facility

ACTRIS

Singapore’s Advanced Cell Therapy and Research Institute (ACTRIS) has recently announced the opening of a new, comprehensive cell therapy facility. 

Measuring 2,000 sqm, this facility aims to meet the growing clinical demand for cell and gene therapy (CGT) treatments in Singapore.

Bolstering the Future of Medical Research and Treatment

The facility includes 14 Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant clean suites, four translational laboratories, and a quality control laboratory. Consequently, this makes it the largest national facility of its type. It is set to support hospital services, academic research institutions, and burgeoning biotech start-ups.

Advanced Technology Supporting Life-Saving Treatments

The state-of-the-art equipment housed in the facility can handle a range of processes including cell selection, genetic modification, closed-system manufacturing, and product storage. Thanks to the facility’s advanced infrastructure, such as air-handling systems, ACTRIS can manufacture multiple cell therapy products simultaneously. This capacity hastens patient access to these innovative treatments.

A Beacon of Hope for Cancer Patients

1 in 4 Singaporeans are likely to be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 75. Therefore, CGT treatments have emerged as a possible treatment option, particularly for certain types of blood cancer. These therapies, also known as “living drugs”, use cells to combat cancer, providing a revolutionary approach to treatment.

One such type of treatment, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, is already available in Singapore. This treatment uses a patient’s immune cells to target specific cancer cells.

Contributing to Ground-Breaking Medical Progress

ACTRIS’ new facility is poised to meet the increasing demand for the development and manufacturing of cell therapy products. The facility will also foster public-private partnerships and help companies to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to introduce their cell therapy products into Singapore.

ACTRIS is excited to collaborate with academic institutions, hospital clusters, local biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industry partners. Furthermore, this new facility will provide a significant boost not only to the CGT ecosystem in Singapore but also to the surrounding region.

Facilitating Medical Innovation

ACTRIS also plans to facilitate innovation through collaborative efforts with research partners. By providing the infrastructure to support the manufacture of advanced cellular therapies, the facility will greatly benefit patients.

Fostering Local Development of Cell Therapy

At the launch ceremony, ACTRIS and the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC) announced a joint grant call to expedite the adoption of cell therapies in local hospitals to enhance healthcare delivery and patient care. Also, eligible projects will receive funding and support to foster the development of cell therapy products.

Subsequently, Professor Chee Yam Cheng, Chairman of the Board Oversight Committee of Actris, stated “Being able to manufacture high-quality cell therapies locally will mean that treatments can reach our patients in less time, and they get access to life-saving therapies sooner.” 

About ACTRIS

Established in April 2020, ACTRIS was formed to meet the growing clinical demand for cellular therapeutics to treat various life-threatening diseases. Firstly, it has a vision to be the national and regional centre of excellence. Secondly, ACTRIS aims to promote and foster the entire value chain of the cellular therapy ecosystem. ACTRIS is a programme of the Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation, Singapore (CRIS), a subsidiary of MOH Holdings (MOHH), and is supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore.

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