Intas Biopharmaceuticals Limited (IBPL), India's leading biotechnology company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government of Gujarat to set up a separate manufacturing facility for Monoclonal Antibodies (MAbs), a recombinant mammalian platform product. The company will invest Rs 160 crore to build up the facility at Sanand near Ahmedabad. The facility, dedicated for MAbs, will undertake large-scale manufacturing of the recombinant product with a capacity of 5000L in phases.

Speaking at the signing ceremony during the conclusion of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2009, Mani Iyer, executive director, IBPL, said, "Company has acquired 23,000 square meter of land at the Matoda village in Sanand and has initiated the Engineering Design Phase for the project. Government of Gujarat would facilitate the company to obtain necessary permissions / registration and would help to avail incentives under various schemes announced by the State / Central Government. We are seeking government approval for utilizing an alternative source of energy for fulfilling our power requirements for this project. Further, we are looking for necessary regulatory clearances, permissions and registrations from the State Government."

In the area of Research & Development pertaining to recombinant products, the company is developing Novel Drug Delivery System for proteins, a cloning facility, introducing novel production platforms, developing MAbs and recombinant products (cytokines, hormones and blood factors). The company, in a planned and phase-wise manner, will screen technologies / new molecules and identify the most promising ones, prioritizing them on the basis of their business potential and compatibility. IBPL is planning to generate clones for commercial production of protein using state-of-the-art technologies to improve yields, quality as well as adopting novel expression systems with an objective to build Intellectual Property over the long run. MAbs has strong potential of generating IP in terms of patents and could provide a novel platform for delivery of many of the protein therapeutics.

Dr Dhananjay Patankar, chief technical officer of IBPL said, "The commercial production at the proposed MAbs facility is likely to commence by 2011. We have initiated the necessary technical studies for the project. The setting up of MAbs facility in Gujarat is one-of-its-kind of initiative for the state that has always welcomed and promoted new technology initiatives from Intas Biopharmaceuticals."

Dr Patankar continued, "Our association with Government of Gujarat is a long-standing commitment to deliver superior technology and quality recombinant products to people. Since our inception in 2000, Government has supported us in each of our initiatives and we look forward to receive proactive assistance and support from them."

As far as manufacturing activity is concerned, IBPL is indigenously manufacturing and marketing bio therapeutic drugs – GCSF, Interferon, Erythropoietin and PEG-GCSF. The company's venture into manufacturing of MAbs is backed by necessary infrastructure to carry out R&D activity and a dedicated team of technical professionals.