• Pfizer establishes a global drug development centre in Chennai


    "This centre will provide Indian scientists with the opportunity to establish a global footprint in medical R&D," said Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan.

    Digital Desk: Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, opened its first drug development centre in Asia on Wednesday at IIT Madras Research Park in Chennai, intending to develop small molecules and novel formulations for the global market. The setup is comparable to the company's other 12 global centres.

    According to Andrew McKillop, the vice president of PharmaSci Small Molecules, Pfizer, has invested $20 million (approximately Rs. 150 crores) in the centre, spanning 61,000 square feet. He further said, "From Chennai, we can support the entire Pfizer portfolio across all therapeutic areas." 

    Developing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished dosage forms (FDFs) of differentiated products such as complex and value-added formulations, controlled-release dosage forms, device-combination products, lyophilized injections, and powder-fill products, and ready-to-use formulations will be among the capabilities of the centre.

    Work has already begun with a few employees. The center is expected to employ more than 250 scientists and professionals in R&D, including formulation scientists and pharmacists, microbiologists, biotechnologists, chemical engineers, data scientists, and program managers.

    "This center will offer Indian scientists the opportunity to establish a global footprint in medical R&D," Tamil Nadu health secretary J Radhakrishnan said at the event. It will enable collaboration between industry and academia in the future."

    "Chennai was a logical place for us to source the talent here," S Sridhar, country manager of Pfizer India, said when asked why Chennai was chosen as the main hub? 

    Pfizer also has manufacturing plants in Goa, Ahmedabad, and Vizag and a service centre in Chennai.

    "The world-class Research Park campus, which is driven by science, technology, and innovation, is an ideal setting for our work." "We hope that being close to IIT Madras and other technology Research Park start-ups will improve academia-industry partnerships and encourage more collaboration to drive innovation," Sridhar said. "Pfizer's current and future innovative products will be served by the integrated centre."

    Pfizer did not say whether its recent work on Covid-19 treatments will be carried out here, only that the center will cover a wide range of health issues.

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