AstraZeneca has inaugurated a new Process and Development (PR&D) laboratory next to its R&D centre in Bangalore, India.
Mr. David Brennan, Chief Executive Officer AstraZeneca, along with Guests of Honour, Mr P B Mahishi, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka, & Mr. Narayana Murthy, Chairman & Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies, officially opened the laboratory at the company’s Hebbal campus in Bangalore.
The PR&D facility, built at a cost of $15 million, covers 8,000 square metres on a 14,200 square metre plot and can accommodate up to 75 process scientists, supported by office and engineering staff. This is AstraZeneca’s fourth PR&D facility and the only one outside of Europe. The company has two PR&D facilities in the UK and one in Sweden.
Mr. Brennan said, “I am delighted and privileged to inaugurate this PR&D facility to further demonstrate AstraZeneca’s commitment to our operations in India and to our team of researchers and scientists here who are dedicated to the discovery of novel therapies for developing world diseases. Facilities of this kind will leverage India’s strengths in process chemistry”.
This facility will strengthen the existing global PR&D programmes as well as provide support to the existing Drug Discovery programme at Bangalore, engaged in finding a cure for tuberculosis (TB), a disease prevalent in the developing world and making a re-appearance in developed countries.
Dr. Sudhir Nambiar, Director, PR&D, AstraZeneca India, said: “This is an exciting challenge for the skilled and dedicated Indian chemists who have already proved themselves in the generic area. We plan to recruit additional scientists from the organic, analytical and process engineering disciplines from universities directly or with varying levels of local/overseas industrial experience”.
A focus area of this facility will be New Chemical Entities (NCEs). The PR&D scientists typically work with compounds created by medicinal chemists to ensure that they are safe and efficient for the manufacturing related stages of drug development as well as toxicological studies & clinical trials. The co-location at Bangalore of Discovery and PR&D scientists will help AstraZeneca to maximize scientific interactions and enable shared use of the PR&D infrastructure.