Multinational pharma major Pfizer has set up a global drug development centre in Chennai, the first and only facility in Asia for the company which will develop products for global markets and support the company’s manufacturing centres worldwide.
The centre’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) for the 61,000 sq ft research and technology centre at the IIT Madras Research Park. While this centre will be a part of a network of 12 global centres set up worldwide, it is the first and only one at present being set up by Pfizer in Asia.
Speaking to select journalists, S Sridhar, country manager, Pfizer India, said that the Chennai centre will primarily focus on developing small molecules, innovative formulations and APIs for global markets.
“Pfizer’s drug development centre in the IIT Madras Research Park is a positive opportunity to establish truly one of the most advanced laboratories that Pfizer is setting up for R&D in the aforementioned disciplines anywhere in the world, in Chennai and an opportunity to showcase the potential of R&D in the country,” he said.
The centre integrates two essential functions under the export-oriented undertaking of Pfizer namely pharmaceutical sciences (PharmSci) and global technology and engineering (GT&E) centre of excellence. PharmSci is dedicated to the development of anti-infectives, oncolytics, sterile injectables, anesthesia products, CNS products, and uniquely differentiated hospital products. GT&E pioneers next-generation API process and manufacturing technology to supply medicines to patients around the globe.
“We are confident that it will allow for synergistic co-development of cutting-edge API and FDF processes under the same roof. 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 also improve academia and industry partnerships and encourage greater collaboration to drive innovation,” he said.
The 61,000 sq ft facility will employ 250 scientists and professionals from a range of scientific disciplines including formulation scientists and pharmacists, analytical scientists with expertise in process, analytical and formulation medicinal sciences, life science specialists such as microbiologists and biotechnologists, chemical engineers, data scientists and programme managers.
The centre, which has 10 laboratories, will develop complex sterile injectable formulations and device combination products for hospital segment, including anti-infectives and oncolytics.