Pfizer, the leading pharmaceutical company, inaugurated a global drug development centre on IIT Madras Research Park campus here on Wednesday. This is the company’s first such facility in Asia.
The centre, which is one of the company’s 12 such centres in the world, will develop and support products in its global markets and manufacturing centres. The centre, set up at a cost of over ₹150 Crore, is spread over 61,000 square feet and has ten laboratories with cutting edge equipment.
The centre will develop small molecules, innovative formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients for global markets, a release by the company said. “The centre’s capabilities will include the development of both, APIs and finished dosage forms (FDFs) of differentiated products such as complex/value-added formulations, controlled-release dosage forms, device-combination products, lyophilized injections, powder-fill products, and ready-to-use formulations.”
Stating that India was hailed as the “pharmacy of the world” because of its capabilities to produce generic versions of various drugs, S. Sridhar, country manager, Pfizer India, expressed hope that the centre would be an opportunity to showcase the potential of research and development in the country. He said the centre will do “research in India for the world.”
“The world-class scientific technology and innovation-driven research park campus provides an ideal setting for our work. We are hopeful that the proximity to IIT Madras and other technology research park start-ups will improve academia and industry partnerships, and encourage greater collaboration to drive innovation,” he added.
Apart from manufacturing, done through third parties, Pfizer has three manufacturing centres in India in Visakhapatnam, Goa and Ahmedabad. The research and development centre, now opened in Chennai, will employ more than 250 scientists and other professionals.
Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare department Principal Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said the centre will offer Indian scientists the opportunity to establish a global footprint in medical research and development.
Ashok Jhunjhunwala, president, IIT Madras Research Park, said the proximity of Pfizer to IIT Madras, scientists and students, the tech corridor and other leading industry start-ups will foster greater collaboration between industry and academia.