US-Based Pharma major Pfizer’s newly set up global drug development centre in Chennai will play a major role in its plan to introduce 25 therapies internationally by 2025, with a special focus on hospital products and oncology. Over 250 scientists and laboratory technicians involved in pharma research and development are working at the IIT Madras Research Park to develop innovative formulations and APIs for the global market.
S Sridhar, country manager, Pfizer India, told FE, “Globally, we plan to introduce 25 new therapies by 2025. The work at this centre can serve several of these therapy areas. The centre also provides technical support for products that are already in the market.”
The team at the Chennai facility works closely with multiple manufacturing centres and partners to provide technical guidance and help optimise manufacturing processes with technical, quality and safety parameters in mind.
“Products developed at the Chennai centre could be transferred to any of the manufacturing facilities worldwide within the Pfizer network, depending on product requirements, including our facility in Vizag, our joint-venture facility in Ahmedabad or our manufacturing partners.” Sridhar said.
According to him, bringing new medicines or drugs to the market is a long and complex process that requires completion of many stages of work. Much of that work is being done at the Chennai centre, the first and only facility in Asia for Pfizer to develop products for global markets and support its manufacturing units worldwide.
As is known, Pfizer recently established a global drug development facility to accelerate its way into achieving breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. The centre spans 61,000 sqft, housing 10 laboratories, workstations and large- and medium-sized conference rooms. The facility’s capabilities will include the development of both active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished dosage forms (FDFs) of differentiated products such as complex, value-added formulations, controlled-release dosage forms, device combination products, lyophilised injections, powder fill products, and ready-to-use formulations. Pfizer has invested $20 million (Rs 150 crore) on the unit and it will be a part of a network of 12 global centres.
The facility will employ 250 scientists and professionals from a range of scientific disciplines, including formulation scientists and pharmacists, analytical scientists with expertise in analytical and formulation medicinal sciences, life science specialists, chemical engineers, data scientists, and programme managers.