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Evotec buys in India to quicken drug development services

By Nick Taylor , 04-Sep-2009

By acquiring a stake in India-based RSIPL Evotec believes it can offer clients quicker drug development services, an important aspect of coping with attrition, because larger teams of chemists are available in emerging markets.

Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the in-built attrition of drug candidates means companies want to quicken development so failing projects can be abandoned earlier.

The challenges facing pharma, both the economy and difficulties replenishing pipelines, have increased the importance of improving development. Evotec believes that acquiring 70 per cent of Research Support International Private Limited (RSIPL) will help it meet these clients’ needs.

Lanthaler explained that acquiring a stake in a laboratory with 160 chemists allows Evotec to perform large projects and quicken drug development. Teams of this size are rarely available in the UK or Germany, where Evotec has facilities, and consequently the company looked to India.

Clients were conferred with prior to the acquisition and Lanthaler believes there is a demand for the offering the expanded business will be able to provide. In addition India, and RSIPL in particular, has the training and qualifications needed to add value to Evotec’s service offering, according to Lanthaler.

RSIPL provides chemistry drug discovery and development services and has capacity to synthesise virtually all types of organic compounds from milligram to kilogram scale.

Evotec paid €2.8m for a 70 per cent controlling majority stake in RSIPL. It also has a call option to purchase the remaining 30 per cent from DIL Limited in the event of a change of control.

Essential integration

The process of integration is now underway. Lanthaler regards this process as key, stating that an acquisition is only as good as its integration. To help this process staff from the India site will come to the laboratories in the UK and Germany, and vice-versa.

Lanthaler added that “exchange of knowledge is essential for integration” and the transferring of staff is intended to allow this to occur.

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