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GSK increases activities in India

GSK and Tata Consultancy Services have signed an agreement to establish a global drug development support centre in Mumbai, India to support GSKís expanding drugs pipeline

UK pharmaceutical firm, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Tata Consultancy Services, an India-headquartered information technology, consulting, services and business-process outsourcing company, have signed an agreement to establish a global drug development support centre in Mumbai to support GSKís expanding drugs pipeline.

TCS will provide a variety of services in clinical research, including clinical data management and clinical submissions support.

The centre will house a TCS team of pharmacologists, PhDs in life sciences, post-graduates in pharmacy, and individuals with a life sciences background experienced in clinical-data management and programming. TCS will also contribute management skills, flexible operating models, transition capabilities and performance driven processes.

In November 2006, US pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co, appointed India's Advinus Therapeutics, which is part of the Tata Group, to conduct research and preclinical trials on some drugs used to treat metabolic disorders.

In other related news, GSK has approved further development of a respiratory drug by India's Ranbaxy Laboratories under a research and development collaboration pact between the two companies, the Indian partner said Monday.

The approval from GSKís Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery allows Ranbaxy to process the drug up to the second phase of clinical trials, Ranbaxy said in a press statement. GSK will then have the option to conduct further development through to final commercialisation, it added.

Under the 2003 agreement, which was expanded earlier in 2007, Ranbaxy could receive up to USD 100m (EUR 74.9m/ GBP 50.7m) in milestone payments from GSK, if any of jointly developed drugs are commercialised. Ranbaxy also retains the right to co-market the products in India and earn royalties on overseas sales.

Ranbaxy did not reveal the financial details for conducting GSK clinical trials for the specific approved respiratory drug.

Pradip Bhatnagar, a senior vice-president at Ranbaxy, said: "This achievement also reflects the discovery capabilities of Ranbaxy's research team and the growing partnership between the two organisations."

Western pharmaceutical companies are increasingly shifting drug research and clinical trials to India in order to cut costs.

The collaboration between GSK and Ranbaxy focuses on therapeutics including anti-infectives and metabolic, respiratory and oncology products.

GSK, whose presence in India dates from 1924, is the leading research-based pharmaceutical company in the country by sales and employs 2,425 people.

4th April 2007

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