The global industry cannot ignore either China or India because of the large pool of talent, human resources and cost-effectiveness. MNCs projects and partnerships with local companies are more in India compare to China.

Global pharmaceutical large-scale companies like Allergan, Eisai Pharma, Dupont, Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pliva, Ratiopharm, Nektar Therapeutics, Sigma Aldrich and Teva have chosen India to invest in drug research and development (R&D). 

Company 

Area of focus 

 Investment

 Allergan Inc

 Inflammatory, infection,
urological indications

 $3-5 million

 AstraZeneca

 TB & NCE research,
process & development

 $15 million

 BMS -Syngene

 Basic drug discovery

 N/A

 Dupont

 Molecular biology,
bio-informatics and
polymer synthesis

 $23 million

 Eisai
Pharmaceuticals

 API processes

 $120 million
(including mfg plants)

 Nektar Therapeutics

 Pre-clinical and bio-
analytical development

 $10 million

 Pliva

 Basic studies for generics

 $1 million

 Ratiopharm GmbH

 Basic processes

 $36 million
(in two phases)

 Teva

 Basic processes

 $3-4 million

Although the investments by these companies in the country were not as large as the high-end ones by companies like Astra Zeneca, Wyeth, Novartis, Roche, J&J and GSK in China and Singapore, the number of projects and partnerships with local companies were higher in India.

According to Ajit V Dangi, director general of the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), a grouping of 75 multinational pharmaceutical companies are operating in India and only few companies  may be concerned about issues like data exclusivity, which is allowed in about 40-50 countries but not in India. Similarly, Section 3 (d) of the Patent Act lacks clarity may be a concern. But this need not deter the companies from investing in India as there are other factors are also involved while taking business decisions.

According to Paul Stoffels, chairman, research and development of pharmaceutical group, Johnson & Johnson, there are tremendous opportunities in India especially in the clinical development of drugs and concerns on IP protection can be addressed. Indian drug development centre will be an important hub for drug R&D efforts, integrated with other research activities in different parts of the world.

J&J is investing about Rs 37 crore to expand its recently renovated Analytical and Pharmaceutical Development Centre (APDC) in Mumbai, in addition to Rs 36 crore spent recently on renovation.

According to AstraZeneca India sources, it is the only multinational company in India focused on discovering novel drugs or therapies for tuberculosis.  AstraZeneca also opened a US $ 15 million process and development laboratory in Bangalore in March, this year, mainly to take up new chemical entity (NCE) research.