Sector News

Drugmaker GSK to steer Asian business from new Singapore HQ

March 11, 2015
Life sciences
(Reuters) – Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will establish a new headquarters for Asia in Singapore to make quicker decisions for the region, a move that follows a recent rocky ride in China due to a damaging bribery scandal.
 
The British-based group said it expects its pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare and vaccine businesses to grow significantly faster in Asia than in the rest of the world.
 
“While we expect it to be a bit slower going forward than it was five years ago, we still think it’s going to be a very vibrant growth area,” Chief Executive Andrew Witty told reporters.
 
Witty has made emerging markets a priority for GSK since taking over in 2008.
 
GSK has over 700 office-based employees in Singapore and expects an additional 100 roles to move into the country as the headquarters nears completion. Construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2016.
 
Asia business decisions are currently mainly handled out of London.
 
Last year, the drugmaker was fined 3 billion yuan ($479 million) in China following allegations in 2013 it funnelled funds to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials. The high-profile case hit GSK’s drug sales in the country.
 
It is dismissing 110 employees in China for misconduct, people familiar with the matter said this month.
 
“I don’t have an expectation that there will be more people leaving, but equally if we found somebody else who did something wrong then they would go through the process and whatever would happen would happen,” Witty said.
 
GSK’s move follows similar ones by other global companies, including automaker General Motors Co, which moved its international operations headquarters to the city-state last year.
 
Companies are lured to Singapore by its competitive tax rates, use of the English language, skilled workforce and high standards of living. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Ben Hirschler; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Edwina Gibbs)

comments closed

Related News

May 15, 2022

Novo Nordisk and Flagship Pioneering announce a strategic collaboration to create a portfolio of transformational medicines

Life sciences

The companies will explore opportunities to apply Flagship’s innovative bioplatforms – an ecosystem that currently comprises 41 companies – to scientific challenges in disease areas within cardiometabolic and rare diseases and initiate research programmes based on these.

May 15, 2022

BD, Babson set sights on bringing simple blood collection into the home

Life sciences

BD is expanding its long-running partnership with the blood collection company Babson Diagnostics. The two companies have been working together since 2019 on a device that can gather small volumes of blood from the capillaries in the fingertip without requiring any specialized training, and beginning with a focus on supporting primary care in retail settings.

May 15, 2022

CSL’s $11.7B Vifor buy, 2021’s biggest biopharma M&A deal, hits antitrust delay

Life sciences

Wednesday, Australian biotech CSL said (PDF) the regulatory review of its $11.7 billion acquisition of Switzerland’s Vifor Pharma will take “a few more months,” suggesting it won’t be able to close the transaction by June 2022 as previously expected.