Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, inaugurated the state-of-the-art drug discovery facility of Advinus Therapeutics at a function held in Pune. Advinus Therapeutics is the drug discovery and development company catering to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries promoted by the Tata group with Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya. The CEO and managing director of Advinus, Dr Barbhaiya is an internationally reputed pharmaceutical scientist with vast experience in drug discovery and development. Also present at the function were Mr R Gopalakrishnan, chairman, Advinus, along with the senior management including Dr Kasim Mookhtiar, CSO and head of drug discovery, Dr Nimish Vachharajani, head of pharmaceutical research and Rajiv Malik, head of business and corporate development.
Located in the Biotech Park at Hinjewadi, Pune and spread over an area of 20,000 sq ft, the discovery arm of Advinus Therapeutics will undertake novel drug discovery and generating internet presence primarily in the area of metabolic diseases and inflammation. The facility in Pune currently has 55 scientists in various streams and plans to ramp up over a period of time. The centre is equipped with state-of-art automated biological testing equipment using multiple platforms, molecular, cell biology and recombinant DNA technology, mass-detected purification system and parallel synthesis for medicinal chemistry, 400 MZ NMR, and API 4000 LC MS/MS.
Speaking at the inauguration, Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons said, "Looking ahead into the future, the group is committed to being in new high technology and knowledge-based industries and pharma is one such area. Backed by its strong team and infrastructure, we believe that Advinus will partner global majors in creating value from their research efforts and improve the quality of life."
Also present at the function, Mr R Gopalakrishnan, executive director, Tata Sons, and chairman, Advinus Therapeutics said, "The Tata Group has partnered with a technocrat in an entrepreneurial venture, which is uncommon. We believe that such a business model backed by the combined experience of the team led by Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya as CEO and managing director and shareholder holds tremendous potential. TCS which is already in the bio-informatics and life sciences space will complement the pioneering efforts of Advinus.
Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya, CEO and managing director, Advinus states, "Post my leaving Ranbaxy, the easiest option for me was to go back to the US. But I had come to India with a mission and creation of Advinus Therapeutics offers an opportunity to leverage the India-advantage to discover and develop novel drugs with speed and cost-effectiveness. At Advinus, we will focus on creating cutting-edge research facilities with an estimated workforce of 550 employees by 2010 comprising some of the best available talent pool from across the globe. It is a great privilege for me and every employee of Advinus that the company is promoted by a reputed group such as Tata."
Advinus also has a large operation in Bangalore, set over an 8-acre campus with over 180,000 sq ft of built up space, where it offers end-to-end pharmaceutical R&D services in the pre-clinical and early clinical part of the R&D value chain. This end-to-end platform is the only one of its kind in India. Advinus also offers extensive capabilities in the agrochemical and chemical development areas. Advinus is exploring opportunities in companies based in the US and Europe which are looking at cost-effective, high-quality solutions for their R&D programmes. The company aims to become a leading discovery organisation in India through its leadership and people, discovery programmes, partnerships, productivity as judged by INDs filings and successful out-licensing.
Advinus Therapeutics is already being recognised at a global level. Recently, it was named as India's best emerging CRO in drug discovery services, according to a survey conducted by Proximare, a management consulting firm based in New Jersey that exclusively serves pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with strategic issues. Advinus has also received the Good Laboratory Practice Compliance Certificate from the National GLP Compliance Monitoring Program, India.