Pliva's venture into the Indian subcontinent received a boost as it was revealed the Governor of Goa would inaugurate the newly built research and development facility of Pliva Research, India.
The honour is perhaps an indication of the growing investment opportunities in a region that can boast ready availability of qualified manpower and the competitive cost of operation.
The Indian pharmaceutical market is the 15th largest individual market by sales, but the 4th by volume of product.
With domestic drug sales of almost $5 bn, global pharmaceutical companies have already begun to take advantage of the changing regulatory and economic conditions in India.
AstraZeneca inaugurated a major facility for research on tuberculosis in 2003 with an expansion on the pharmaceutical development side in 2004.
Pfizer also started clinical research operations in 1995 and added a biometrics unit in1998 and a formulation development group for its veterinary division in 2004.
Today, Lilly, Sanofi- Aventis, Novartis and GSK all have a direct clinical research presence in India as well as Novartis, and GSK, who also have their own biometrics units.
The Rs 20-crore (€520,000) facility at Goa of Pliva is the fourth R&D centre within the group. The new facility will provide employment to 55 people and has laboratories and offices in an area totalling over 4,000 square metres.
The facility will add to Pliva's existing R&D capabilities with facilities already operating in Croatia, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The facility would focus specifically on conducting bio-equivalence, bio-availability and pharmacokinetic studies for the company's generics product pipeline.
Pliva has been collaborating with a number of Indian companies in both R&D and business development, including Dr Reddy's Laboratories, in the area of oncology, as well as Unichem in the areas of development and product supply.