Pfizer has set up a global drug development centre at the IIT Madras Research Park in Chennai.
The company has invested $20 million in the 61,000 square feet research and technology centre at the IIT Madras Research Park. While this centre will be 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.
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. The centre will develop and support products in global markets and Pfizer’s manufacturing centre worldwide.
“We are confident that it will allow for synergistic co-development of cutting-edge active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and finished dosage form (FDF) processes under the same roof. The world-class scientific, technology and innovation-driven Research Park campus provides an ideal setting for our work,” said Sridhar, country manager, Pfizer India.
The centre integrates two essential functions under the export-oriented undertaking of Pfizer Inc: 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.
“It is encouraging to see a company like Pfizer make a significant investment in R&D in India, and on this prestigious IIT Madras Research Park campus. This centre will offer Indian scientists the opportunity to establish a global footprint in medical R&D. In the future, it will also allow for collaboration between industry and academia,” said J Radhakrishnan, principal secretary, Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Department.
This 61,000 sq ft facility employs over 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.
“Drug Development is one of the most important activities wherein technology meets medicine. Aligning the process with regulatory conditions using technology will not only quicken but enhance the quality of the process of drug development,” said V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras.