Eisai CompanyJapanese pharma major Eisai Co, said its Visakhapatnam facility will emerge as the global hub for R&D, formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing in the years to follow.

The company recently launched Eisai Knowledge Centre at Ramky Pharma SEZ, at Visakhapatnam with an initial investment of $50 million. Incidentally, the centre happens to be the fourth knowledge centre and second API facility for Eisai. The company, which spent about 19 per cent of the revenues on R&D activities globally last year, also said it would set up another API facility, at its 50-acre campus, to manufacture four new products.

“Currently, we would be using the facility to manufacture two products — Aricept and Myonal. But, we are exploring the option of moving out production of four other products from the facility in Japan to the Indian facility,” said Deepak Naik, Managing Director, Eisai Pharmatechnology & Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd., (Mumbai), India.

Aricept, which is used for the treatment of Alzheimer disease, contributes $3.2 billion to the overall revenues. Similarly, the company’s another major product, Pariet, prescribed for gastrointestinal disorders, generates $2.2 billion in sales. Besides focus on APIs, it is also looking at undertaking collaborative research programmes with its counterparts in the US and Japan. “The centre will carry out R&D activities for the company’s global drug development programme in collaboration with its US and Japanese counterparts,” said Sanjit Singh Lamba, President, Esiai Pharmatechnology & Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd., (Visakhapatnam), India.

Meanwhile, Eisai also said it is open to explore business opportunities in India. The company, which is currently growing organically, is likely to evaluate taking the acquisitions route, to expand operations. It may be noted that the $8.9 billion company, had spent nearly $3.9 billion over the past three years acquiring three companies abroad.