our planet

Using biology to increase quality and reduce carbon footprint

We've introduced new manufacturing technologies that will help deliver greater numbers of higher quality medicines more effectively to patients.

Our world-class Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing plant at Quality Road in Singapore wanted to enhance both product quality and quantity while also reducing its carbon footprint.

manufacturing
Inside our Quality Road facility, one of the world’s largest amoxicillin facilities

So, together with the R&D and Supply Chain teams, Quality Road decided to replace the chemical process used to manufacture the antibiotic, amoxicillin, with a process that uses a biology-based technology using enzymes.

  • 1972

    The year our Quality Road facility opened

The benefits of the enzymatic process were clear:

  1. It replaces man-made organic solvents with water so almost 80% of the chemical waste associated with older chemical processes has been removed. 
  2. It has helped us to reduce our amoxicillin value chain carbon footprint by up to 12%.  
  3. It allows us to improve our industry leading product quality standards.

This sustainable approach to the manufacture of amoxicillin is consistent with GSK’s commitment - in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) - to improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical and fine chemical manufacture in Singapore.

In June 2015 GSK announced it would be investing an additional £38M (S$77M) in the Quality Road manufacturing plant in Singapore, building on its initial investment of S$60M committed in 2012.

Roger Connor, President of Global Manufacturing and Supply, GSK, said: “GSK and Singapore have enjoyed a highly-productive partnership for over 50 years. This latest investment in sustainable manufacturing together with our investment announced in October 2014 for a £19M (S$38.5M) continuous manufacturing facility in Jurong, which produces one of GSK’s key active pharmaceutical ingredients, demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that patients around the world receive the medicines they need.”

Speeding up research and development capability by 4-5 years through collaboration

And there is more. GSK is actively pursuing the use of biology to increase quality and reduce the carbon footprint of our new and established products. One example is the announcement in 2014 of a $25 million investment to form a collaboration with Codexis a world leader in applying biology to industrial applications such as enzymes.

We do develop many of our technological capabilities in-house, but by working with Codexis, our efforts have been speeded up by around 4 to 5 years.   This means we have increased both the quality and the sustainability of our products in one important step.