'Indian CROs are competitive compared to Western companies'
Thursday, July 08, 2004 08:00 IST
Syngene International Private Limited, a subsidiary of Biocon Limited has gained a formidable presence in the global contract research services sector in the areas of molecular biology and synthetic chemistry. It is India's first customs research company which designs and manages pre-clinical research projects for multinational companies engaged in new drug discovery. Its international customers have been in the US and Europe and recently Syngene signed up contracts with Japan and Australia. The company has grown from Full Time Equivalency (FTE) based custom research company into a knowledge-led proactive partner in drug discovery. The new skills added to synthetic chemistry portfolio are library synthesis, microwave chemistry, medicinal chemistry, PRD, analytical methods and cGMP synthesis. In the area of Molecular Biology, the value added services include novel gene hunt, mammalian cell culture, In-vivo assay, CACO 2 Culturing and Library Construction. With a growing business demand in research outsourcing Syngene's, has set-up its new R&D facility, which is expected to be operational shortly. Dr Goutam Das, Chief Operating Officer, Syngene International Pvt. Ltd. said that Indian CROs are competitive compared to western companies in an interview with Nandita Vijay of Pharmabiz.com. Excerpts:
What are the strengths of Syngene?
The Biocon brand name is the biggest advantage. Syngene is an internationally reputed Custom Research Company with multi-disciplinary skills in synthetic chemistry and molecular biology. It has over a decade's experience in providing customized R&D services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.
What are the latest developments at Syngene?
Syngene has added to its existing facilities a new 65,000-sq. ft lab at the Biocon Park, mostly to handle synthetic chemistry orders.
Would you be able to share with us the clients you are working for?
Confidentiality agreements prevent us from divulging our clients' identities but the six companies we are working with today figure among the world's top 10 pharmaceutical firms.
What are the future plans chalked out for Syngene?
While working to strengthen its position as India's premier custom research organisation, Syngene will foray into the area of drug discovery in collaboration with a few of its clients in near future to move up the value chain in this area.
What are the prospects for outsourcing in the Indian market?
Though we probably have less than five per cent of the global outsourcing market, we are seeing a rapid rise in this sector. Syngene is very optimistic about the future growth in this area.
What are the key reasons for international companies to undertake contract research at Syngene?
There are several advantages for global companies to outsource research services from us. The key factors are world-class infrastructure, thorough understanding of the client and custom research service-provider relationship. All these aspects of our service give the top ranking pharmaceutical firms the confidence. They have an added edge because of our wide range of capabilities and niche expertise in certain areas. Syngene's trouble shooting capabilities and value for money with no compromises are some of the factors companies look for.
How will Indian CROs stand to fare in the international arena?
Indian CROs are competitive compared to Western companies. However to compete with China, we need certain import export reforms so that all new enterprises enjoy adequate government support. Russia also has similar problems and therefore has not been able to compete with China. Overall, we see Indian CROs doing very well.
What is the future of contract research organizations in India?
Indian CROs will have good chance to shine only if they market their valuable services to grab the opportunity. Of course, it could work counterproductive in the long run if they over commercialise without any significant value-additions in their service. This would become a real hurdle in evolving into a value-added service.