India and Boston Attract New Labs

In the first of IBO’s twice yearly surveys of major new or planned laboratories, Asia and India as well as a number of hefty investments by universities throughout the US are highlighted. India’s growing market, lower costs and educated workforce have attracted increased investments in new laboratories in recent years. Not surprisingly, a number of these companies’ investments mark a first-time investment in India-based R&D. DuPont’s DuPont Knowledge Center (see table, page 3), which will be located in Hyderabad, India’s ICICI Knowledge Park, is the company’s first research facility in India and its seventh major research operation outside the US. The facility will conduct research for five of DuPont’s businesses, including Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Novozymes plans to open its first Indian R&D operations in 2008, which will initially concentrate on the optimization of enzyme properties. Located in Bangalore, the facility is expected to employ between 50 and 60 people. AstraZeneca opened its first process R&D laboratory in India in March. Located in Bangalore, the $15 million, 86,000 square-foot facility can accommodate 75 researchers and is focused on research on new chemical entities. It also supports AstraZeneca’s Bangalore tuberculosis R&D center. Another first was contract research organization (CRO) Quintiles Transnational’s opening this month of its first central laboratory in India, which is located in Mumbai’s Leela Business Park, also the location of Quintiles’ clinical research and electrocardiogram businesses. India’s Business Line Daily reports that the company has performed approximately 180 trials in India during the last decade. Other CROs, however, are expanding in China. This year, both Covance and Charles Rivers Laboratories have announced plans to build central laboratories in Shanghai, China (see table), citing the demand for locating clinical trials in the country. Currently, Covance is working with Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital Center of Laboratory Medicine for its laboratory services. The company has conducted over 550 studies in the Asia-Pacific region. Following major announcements last year regarding investments in China and India (see IBO 2/15/07), several major pharmaceutical companies have recently announced expansions to existing R&D facilities. Johnson & Johnson will create a pharmaceutical R&D East Coast “hub” through the expansion of its Spring House, Pennsylvania, campus. The additional 150,000 square feet will provide lab, development and office space and is scheduled to open in 2009. Last November, Eisai began construction on a $90 million, 65,000 square-foot facility for the production and formulation R&D of intravenous oncology treatments. To be completed in 2009, the new building will be located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, home to an Eisai manufacturing and R&D facility. Eisai also expanded the Eisai Research Institute in Andover, Massachusetts, opening a $65 million, 150,000 square-foot facility that brings the Institute’s total size to 250,000 square feet The new building consolidates basic discovery research, accommodating 160 employees previously located at another Institute building. The Boston area continued to attract other drug makers as well. Novartis plans to locate the headquarters of its vaccine and diagnostics business in Cambridge. The Boston Business Journal reported last month that the company plans to occupy existing real estate, but is in discussions with MIT to build a 500,000 square-foot facility. In November 2006, Schering-Plough opened a drug discovery laboratory in Cambridge, tripling its laboratory space and allowing for the relocation of 80 employees from another Boston location. The new facility can accommodate 200 employees. AstraZeneca will also expand its Boston area operations. It is investing $100 million in its infectious disease and disease research operations at its Waltham campus, including construction of an 132,000 square-foot facility that is scheduled to open in 2009. AstraZeneca also announced plans to open a process R&D lab at its Macclesfield, UK, campus in 2009. This lab will be designed for 170 people and will concentrate on research in oncology, infection and neuroscience. And the company is investing CAD 10 million ($8.8 million) to expand its Montreal, Canada, R&D location which focuses on basic drug research. Singapore also remains a prime location for the operations of major drug companies. Ely Lilly plans to expand its Singapore-based R&D facility to create the Lilly Center for Systems Biology. The $150 million investment will triple the facility’s number of researchers to 150. Also on the island, GlaxoSmithKline recently completed a $13 million expansion of its Center for Research in Cognitive and Neurodegenerative Disorders, bringing the total number of researchers at the facility to 57. In the US, large universities are investing in new laboratories and science programs through public-private partnerships as they seek to increase their share of federal and foundation research monies. Two the largest facilities to open this year are centers at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Kansas’s Life Sciences Innovation Center (see table, page 3). Designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, the new facilities are part of the University of Dallas and the University of Kansas‘s plans to become leading research universities, according to local newspaper reports. Other universities also aiming to increase their take of research dollars include the University of Minnesota, the University of Nevada and the University of Rochester. The University of Minnesota recently dedicated a $21.7 million, three-story addition to its Vincent Stabile Building in Rochester, Minnesota, for the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The Partnership, a collaboration between the University, the State of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, is dedicated to biotechnology and medical genomics. The University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno has begun construction on a 100,000 square-foot building to house the Center of Molecular Medicine. The Center will double the School’s existing research space and provide a home for two research institutes. It is scheduled to open in 2009. New York’s University of Rochester Medical Center plans to construct a four-story, 150,000 square-foot center for research and education as part of a six-year, $430 million project to create its Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

< | >