Bangalore, Jan 29 IANS | 11 months ago

British pharma major AstraZeneca plc Wednesday announced the closing of its research and development (R and D) centre here but said it will continue manufacturing and marketing operations in India.

"The decision to close Avishkar R and D centre is part of our global business strategy to simplify R and D footprint and focus resources on three core therapy areas of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and respiratory, inflammation and auto-immunity," the company said in a statement.

The closure will impact 168 employees working on pharmaceutical development and drug discovery research into neglected tropical disease, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

"We realise this is difficult news for our researchers and our priority is to support them in the coming months. It was not an easy decision to shut the centre where our people did excellent work," the company's Indian subsidiary vice president Sudhir Nambiar said.

The company plans to transfer the pending research projects to its Macclesfield R and D facility in Britain or outsource them to a third party.

"We are also stopping early stage research into tropical diseases, TB and malaria but continue phase-2 trials for TB," Nambiar said.

The staff will exit from May and the centre will be shut down later this year.

The subsidiary's clinical and commercial operations will move to a new location in the city.

The company has about 1,200 people in India. The Indian operation focuses on discovery, development and commercialisation of drugs for gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease.

(Posted on 29-01-2014)

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