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Companies ink deals in India
March 2011
by Amy Swinderman  |  Email the author
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February saw several pharma and biotech firms announcing forays into the emerging market of India.
 
Germany's QIAGEN recently announced the establishment of a subsidiary in India to accelerate expansion the formation of its India subsidiary, QIAGEN India Pvt. Ltd., and the beginning of direct sales in the country. Until now, QIAGEN products have been sold in India through distributor partnerships. QIAGEN has been active in India since 1995 and has developed numerous initiatives, partnerships and a strong network. The company says it expects this enhanced presence will further contribute to its position in the market. The new QIAGEN office will be located in New Delhi and house more than 30 employees.
 
According to QIAGEN, the Indian life sciences and biotech market is one of the fastest growing in the region. In 2010, the domestic market in India grew to revenues of $5 billion, the company says, and is expected to approximately double by 2015. India's domestic in-vitro diagnostics market is projected to grow at 15 percent annually in the next several years and to accelerate going forward due to government incentive programs and infrastructure investment, according to QIAGEN.  
 
The move to a deeper engagement in India follows QIAGEN's entrée into China in 2004 and Japan in 1998. Since then, the company has expanded to more than 500 employees in Asia, with 2009 revenue in the region exceeding $135 million. In the coming years, QIAGEN expects a growth trajectory in India similar to its successful experience in China.
 
"India is a strategic market for the global expansion of QIAGEN, with 1.2 billion people and rapidly growing healthcare and R&D sectors," says Peer Schatz, QIAGEN's CEO. "The great potential for our molecular diagnostic technologies to serve patients in India, along with the research needs of the country's robust pharmaceutical segment, emerging applied testing market and a rapidly increasing academic market, makes India a perfect fit for our growth and geographic expansion goals."  
 
As part of a global reorganization, Daiichi Sankyo recently announced that it has transferred six of its early drug discovery programs in inflammatory and infectious diseases from its Japanese research & development (R&D) facilities to India. The Daiichi Sankyo Life Science Research Centre in India (RCI) will become one the company's four worldwide R&D hubs, and identify potential drug candidates for clinical trials and transfer those molecules to Japan.  
 
RCI became a wholly owned subsidiary of Daiichi last year after Daiichi transferred the new drug research team of India's Ranbaxy Laboratories into the new entity. The transfer saw 170 scientists under the leadership of Bhatnagar becoming part of Daiichi's global R&D team.
 
Finally, Quintiles, a biopharma based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., announced that it has opened a new facility in Hyderabad, India, where it will conduct Phase I clinical trials for drug candidates. The Hyderabad facility is a partnership with India-based Apollo Hospitals Group.  
 
The 86-bed facility is Quintiles' fourth Phase I research center, joining a 150-bed facility in Overland Park, Kansas, the U.S. headquarters for Quintiles' Phase I services; 75 beds in the Guy's Hospital in London; and a total of 52 beds at a pair of locations in Sweden. The Hyderabad facility will evaluate drug candidates developed in India and other countries.  
 
Eddie Caffrey, senior vice president and head of Quintiles' Phase I efforts, says that because sponsors are under intense pressure to speed delivery of results without compromising patient safety or quality of data, the new, state-of-the-art facility will enable the company to "ally with customers by providing access to large numbers of healthy volunteers for simple studies, in parallel to more complex studies conducted by scientific experts in Europe and the U.S."

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