U.S. drugmaker AbbVie will invest about 400 million Singapore dollars (some 320 million U.S. dollars) to build a manufacturing plant in Singapore, a local television channel reported Thursday. The plant will be AbbVie's first manufacturing facility in Asia and is expected to be fully operational by 2019, Channel NewsAsia reported. AbbVie is a biopharmaceutical company formed last year following separation from Abbott. It produces drugs including Humira, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment with annual sales of about 12 billion U.S. dollars. The firm is now looking to increase manufacturing capacity to support a product pipeline that it said "is the strongest it has ever been." AbbVie wants to hire more than 250 people for its new plant in Singapore, which will produce drugs for the global market for use in cancer and immunology treatments. The plant will be the first in Singapore that combines both biologics and small molecule, or chemical-based drug manufacturing, in a single facility. The Singapore Economic Development Board said apart from the AbbVie project, the biologics sector has attracted about 2.4 billion Singapore dollars (1.9 billion U.S. dollars) worth of investments in the last seven years. The sector employs about 1, 700 people, and up to 1,000 jobs are expected to be added over the next three to four years.