India emerging drug R&D destination

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 08:00 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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NEW DELHI: India is gearing up to become a large pharmaceutical R&D hub, with multinational companies such as Merck and Eli Lilly moving projects to India and domestic companies such as GVK Biosciences and Jubilant Organosys investing in providing related services.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, D S Brar, Chairman, GVK Biosciences said, “We are providing R&D services to 20 pharma and seven biotech companies. We have already set up pharma KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) centers in Chennai and Delhi. In future, we could enter into collaborations with other companies in drug discovery on a risk-reward sharing arrangement.” The company has invested about $13.63 million in the business and will invest an equal amount in the coming months.
Jubilant Organosys plans to scale up its contract research business.

The company’s Co-Chairman and Managing Director, Hari S Bhartia said, “Currently, we are conducting only bio-equivalence or Phase I studies. But after the acquisition of the U.S.-based company, Target, and merging it with our own existing entity, we hope to enter into the front-end of the business.” He said that currently companies conduct trials in the U.S., Europe and Asian markets. “We want them to include India as a site for clinical trials,” he added.

Meanwhile, multinational companies are excited about the prospects of moving some part of their R&D to India. Richard A Smith, Strategy Consultant, Intercontinental Region, Eli Lilly, said, “We would like to tap the intellectual capital available in India and have done some clinical studies here. We are looking at different types of R&D opportunities and models and have initiated some discussions with companies.”

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