Astra Zeneca opens PR&D unit in Bangalore

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 22 March 2007, 05:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: AstraZeneca, a pharma company has commissioned a $15 million process, research and development (PR&D) facility in Bangalore. Process R&D comes into the picture for further, larger scale research when a drug candidate has been identified. The Anglo-Swedish pharma major expects the facility to play a crucial role in taking the discovery phase of research to the commercial stage. In India, AZ's research unit is currently working on a new tuberculosis drug and may also take up research projects from the company's other global units, a spokesperson said

The ceremony marked the start of construction by AstraZeneca of a $10 million Process R&D facility in Bangalore, India. This new unit, one of the four other AZ PR&D facilities located world-wide, is poised to play a crucial role in taking the discovery phase of research to bringing drugs to the market. The state-of-the-art building, adjacent to the recently built R&D facility, covering 6000 sq mts on a 3.5 acre plot, will be built to house a team up to 50 more scientists plus associated support staff. The co-location of the Discovery and Process R&D scientists will help AstraZeneca to maximize the scientific interactions and enable shared use of the R&D infrastructure. Venkataramanan Associates, the architectural firm, involved in building the R&D centre a year ago, have been chosen to handle this new project.

According to Kumud Sampath, President, AZ R&D Bangalore, ?The design of the new facility is fully integrated into the current R&D facility, well thought-through with room for future expansion.? ?Work on the new building is targeted for completion by the middle of 2007,? she added.Dr. Andy Jones, Director, Business Development, AstraZeneca PLC, who was in Bangalore especially for this occasion, highlighted AstraZeneca?s commitment to India and said, ?AstraZeneca would like to build a world-class PR&D group in Bangalore which will also be amongst the best PR&D groups in India. The commitment and work to start building this facility is the first step towards that. Our initial investment in this new unit is to the tune of US$ 10 million. He also commented that the process of recruitment has already begun and that the plan was to add a dozen scientists to the team of 25 already on board, by the end of 2007.

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of over $18.8 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, oncology, cardiovascular, neuroscience and respiratory products.
In India, AstraZeneca?s presence includes AstraZeneca India Pvt. Ltd. (AZIPL), an integrated part of the AstraZeneca R&D network mainly focused on TB research; AstraZeneca Research Foundation (AZREFI ), which supports education and technological innovation by organizing seminars and symposia; and AstraZeneca Pharma India Limited (AZPIL), the Marketing Company, with interests in six major therapeutic areas and a world-class manufacturing unit conforming to WHO current Good Manufacturing practices (cGMP).

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