Bristol-Myers, Syngene open new R&D facility

After announcing its alliance with DuPont Crop Protection eaarlier this month to provide integrated research services (See: Biocon arm Syngene in R&D pact with DuPont Crop Protection), Biocon subsidiary Syngene International has announced the opening of a fully dedicated R&D facility for Bristol-Myers Squibb in Biocon Park, Bangalore.

270 researchers at the new facility have begun work to carry forward Bristol-Myers's work in drug discovery and early drug development, following an agreement between Bristol-Myers and Biocon to develop integrated drug discovery and development capabilities at Syngene. (See: Biocon arm to set up dedicated R&D facility for Bristol-Myers Squibb). Under the terms of the agreement, Syngene would provide research and development (R&D) services to Bristol-Myers Squibb for discovery and early drug development. 

The facility will house 360 researchers by the end of the year and could accommodate as many as 450 employees in the future. Work at the facility will span the drug discovery and development process from initial hit to lead optimisation to early pharmaceutical development to clinical nomination to Phase I and Phase II clinical studies.

"We are pleased to build upon our more-than 10-year relationship with Biocon with the completion of this dedicated R&D facility and the establishment of this integrated R&D center in Asia," said Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., Executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president, research and development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "The opening of this facility is an integral part of our company's strategy to access top talent around the world and establish a research and development presence in Asia."

"Syngene's multi-disciplinary skills in synthetic chemistry, process chemistry and molecular biology have garnered international repute. This collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb is a testimonial to Syngene's global reputation and offers a powerful value-added capability base for Bristol-Myers Squibb," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon.

Syngene's COO, Goutam Das added "Bristol-Myers Squibb has been one of our earliest customers with whom we have built an enduring research partnership based on trust and reliability. The inauguration of this fully dedicated research and development facility at Biocon Park, symbolizes the logical expansion of our research capabilities on an integrated platform."

In addition to expanding its research and development capabilities in India through its relationship with Biocon, Bristol-Myers Squibb has committed to supporting the development of scientific excellence in India. Since 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb has established fellowships supporting doctoral and post-graduate students at four academic institutions in the areas of biology, chemistry, pharmaceutics, drug metabolism, chemical engineering, clinical pharmacology and translational medicine. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Biocon are also exploring public-private educational partnerships with local universities.

"To support talent development in India we are committed to working with academic institutions through fellowships and partnerships to ensure the next generation of graduates has a high level of expertise in drug discovery and development sciences," said Francis Cuss, MB, BChir, FRCP, Senior Vice President, Discovery and Exploratory Clinical Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb.