AstraZeneca plans to build a $1.5 billion manufacturing facility in Singapore to produce antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and targeted cancer therapies, the British company said on Monday.

The facility, which will be the drugmaker's first end-to-end ADC production site, will be supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

ADCs are engineered antibodies that bind to tumour cells and then release cell-killing chemicals.

The multi-stage production of ADCs involves generating the antibody, synthesising the chemotherapy drug and its linker, conjugating these elements, and filling of the completed ADC substance.

"Singapore is one of the world's most attractive countries for investment given its reputation for excellence in complex manufacturing, and I am excited for AstraZeneca to locate our $1.5 billion ADC manufacturing facility in the country," CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement.

The drugmaker currently has a wide portfolio of in-house ADCs, which includes six wholly owned ADCs in clinic and more in pre-clinical development.

AstraZeneca aims to begin construction of the facility by the end of 2024 and expects it to be operational from 2029.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Louise Heavens)