February saw several pharma and biotech firms announcingforays into the emerging market of India.
Germany's QIAGEN recently announced the establishment of asubsidiary in India to accelerate expansion the formation of its Indiasubsidiary, QIAGEN India Pvt. Ltd., and the beginning of direct sales in thecountry. Until now, QIAGEN products have been sold in India through distributorpartnerships. QIAGEN has been active in India since 1995 and has developednumerous initiatives, partnerships and a strong network.
The company says it expects this enhanced presence willfurther contribute to its position in the market. The new QIAGEN office will belocated in New Delhi and house more than 30 employees.
According to QIAGEN, the Indian life sciences and biotechmarket is one of the fastest growing in the region. In 2010, the domesticmarket in India grew to revenues of $5 billion, the company says, and isexpected to approximately double by 2015. India's domestic in-vitro diagnostics market is projected to grow at 15percent annually in the next several years and to accelerate going forward dueto government incentive programs and infrastructure investment, according toQIAGEN.
The move to a deeper engagement in India follows QIAGEN'sentrée into China in 2004 and Japan in 1998. Since then, the company hasexpanded to more than 500 employees in Asia, with 2009 revenue in the regionexceeding $135 million. In the coming years, QIAGEN expects a growth trajectoryin India similar to its successful experience in China.
"India is a strategic market for the global expansion ofQIAGEN, with 1.2 billion people and rapidly growing healthcare and R&Dsectors," says Peer Schatz, QIAGEN's CEO. "The great potential for ourmolecular diagnostic technologies to serve patients in India, along with theresearch needs of the country's robust pharmaceutical segment, emerging appliedtesting market and a rapidly increasing academic market, makes India a perfectfit for our growth and geographic expansion goals."
As part of a global reorganization, Daiichi Sankyo recentlyannounced that it has transferred six of its early drug discovery programs ininflammatory and infectious diseases from its Japanese research &development (R&D) facilities to India. The Daiichi Sankyo Life ScienceResearch Centre in India (RCI) will become one the company's four worldwideR&D hubs, and identify potential drug candidates for clinical trials andtransfer those molecules to Japan.
RCI became a wholly owned subsidiary of Daiichi last yearafter Daiichi transferred the new drug research team of India's RanbaxyLaboratories into the new entity. The transfer saw 170 scientists under theleadership of Bhatnagar becoming part of Daiichi's global R&D team.
Finally, Quintiles, a biopharma based in Research TrianglePark, N.C., announced that it has opened a new facility in Hyderabad, India,where it will conduct Phase I clinical trials for drug candidates. TheHyderabad facility is a partnership with India-based Apollo Hospitals Group.
The 86-bed facility is Quintiles' fourth Phase I researchcenter, 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 inLondon; and a total of 52 beds at a pair of locations in Sweden.
The Hyderabad facility will evaluate drug candidatesdeveloped 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 speeddelivery of results without compromising patient safety or quality of data, thenew, state-of-the-art facility will enable the company to "ally with customersby providing access to large numbers of healthy volunteers for simple studies,in parallel to more complex studies conducted by scientific experts in Europeand the U.S."