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Teva inaugurates R&D facility in Noida — Plans tie-ups with Indian cos for clinical research

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The Ambassador of Israel, Mr David Danieli, flanked by Mr Aharon Yaari (left), President & CEO, API Division of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, and Mr V.K. Batra, Managing Director, Regent Drugs Ltd, at the inauguration of R&D centre of Regent Drugs Ltd (member of Teva Group) in Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) on Wednesday. - Ramesh Sharma

New Delhi , Dec. 28

THE world's largest generic company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, is stepping up its presence in India.

Besides setting up a new research and development (R&D) centre here, it is also planning to enter into partnerships with Indian firms for biotechnology and conducting clinical research.

Speaking to newspersons after the inauguration of the R&D Centre in Greater Noida, Mr Aharon Yaari, President & CEO, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) Division - Teva Group, said, "India plays an important part in our development programmes and we are looking at collaborations with Indian companies in clinical programmes and cutting edge scientific areas like biotechnology."

Initially, studies could be conducted on drugs for the central nervous system (CNS) and later other therapeutic segments could be added.

"We would also look at collaborating with Indian research institutes," said Mr Lazer Bezdin, Country Manager of Teva in India.

Here the company is operating through its wholly owned subsidiary, Regent Drugs Ltd that it acquired in 2003.

The Israel-based company is currently focusing on the API business and so would the new research centre, which has been set up with an initial investment of $3 million-$4 million.

The centre would start with 60 scientists that would go up to 125 in three to four years. Teva has close to half-a-dozen R&D centres globally and the facility in India is the third largest after Israel and Hungary.

Besides, the company has a manufacturing facility at Gajrola in Uttar Pradesh for APIs that caters to Teva's global requirements.

This was inherited through the Regent acquisition with an investment of over $10 million.

"About 10 molecules for various therapeutic segments including infectious diseases, anti-depressants and CNS products worth $20 million-$30 million are sourced by the parent company from Regent. Another three new molecules will be added next year," said Mr V.K. Batra, Managing Director, Regent Drugs.

He further added that the strategy for entering the formulation business has not yet been finalised.

On acquisitions in India, Mr Yaari said the company is, at the moment, looking at organic growth.

"However, if at any point, the company feels that acquisitions is the right way forward, we will do so," he said.

Some months ago, the market was abuzz with talks of Teva scouting for a generic company in India.

Early this year, it announced a $7.4-billion purchase of the US-based Ivax Corporation helping it regain the No 1 global slot, bypassing rival Novartis.

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