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Moderna investor Flagship Pioneering expands into APAC with Singapore regional hub

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
Moderna investor Flagship Pioneering expands into APAC with Singapore regional hub
Noubar Afeyan, founder and chief executive officer of Flagship. Photo: Bloomberg
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US biotech venture creation company Flagship Pioneering has announced its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, with the opening of a regional hub in Singapore. 

This follows the company’s expansion into the UK earlier this year.

Flagship is best known for its role in backing Moderna, which created a widely-used Covid-19 vaccine. 

In a Nov 8 statement, the company says André Andonian has joined Flagship as chair of Asia Pacific and senior adviser to lead Flagship’s presence in the region. Andonian is Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey & Company, where he worked for 34 years. 

Prior to joining McKinsey, Andonian worked at Masco Corporation in the US and at IBM in Austria, Spain and the Middle East. A Fulbright Scholar, Andonian received his Master of Business Administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in social and economic sciences, as well as a Bachelor of Science in engineering, all with highest distinction, from institutions in his hometown of Vienna, Austria.

He will also serve as an adviser on Flagship’s broader global strategy, regional investor engagement and institutional development.

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“For more than two decades Flagship has systematically created breakthrough companies that push scientific boundaries and build enduring value, while ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future,” says Noubar Afeyan, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Flagship.

Afeyen will speak on a Nov 8 panel at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore alongside Jenny Johnson, president and CEO of Franklin Templeton; Lim Chow Kiat, CEO of GIC; and John Waldron, president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs.

He adds: “Flagship’s expansion into APAC through our new hub in Singapore, will allow us to accelerate the growth and scaling of our companies and enable us to broaden their impact on human health and the health of our planet through strategic partnerships across industry, academia and healthcare systems in the region.” 

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Singapore has a thriving biomedical ecosystem built over more than two decades, says Jacqueline Poh, managing director, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and director, EDBI. “Here, global and local life sciences and biotech companies can accelerate game-changing innovation and scale transformative solutions to meet the rising demand for healthcare in Asia. The presence of Flagship Pioneering in Singapore will boost new collaborations in our growing region, driving healthcare and sustainability impact.”

Flagship currently counts 43 companies in its ecosystem, spanning human therapeutics, agriculture and nutrition. Companies in its stable include the Nasdaq-listed firms Denali Therapeutics, Foghorn Therapeutics, Omega Therapeutics, Sana Biotechnology and Seres Therapeutics.

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