Friday, March 23, 2007

Astra Zeneca's new PR&D centre leverages Indian chemistry expertise

more off-shoring...this time research...

22/03/2007 - AstraZeneca is leveraging the process chemistry expertise accumulated in India's generics industry and universities by opening a $15m (€11.3m) process research and development (PR&D) laboratory next to its existing research centre for tuberculosis in Bangalore.

The newly inaugurated 8,000sq m facility on AstraZeneca's Hebbal campus can accommodate up to 75 process scientists as well as supporting office and engineering staff. The Bangalore laboratory will both consolidate the existing drug discovery programme for tuberculosis at the site and bolster the UK company's global PR&D network. This consists of one facility apiece in the UK and Sweden, plus a pending UK PR&D laboratory at AstraZeneca's Macclesfield site that is expected to start operating by mid-2009.

The company, whose research pipeline has come under critical scrutiny following a succession of damp squibs in late-stage development, has been investing heavily of late in new R&D resources, partnerships and acquisitions. At the same time, it has been making deep cuts to boost productivity and cost efficiency in its supply chain. The recent announcement that 700 manufacturing and supply jobs would go at Macclesfield contrasted pointedly with the £63.5m (€93.6 million) AstraZeneca is investing in its new PR&D laboratory at the same site.

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