BMS to pump $300m into India with new R&D deals

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bms Pharmacology

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has this week inked two large R&D
services contracts in India as it dips its toe further into this
budding region.

The drug heavy said the India-based R&D boost will help it achieve "sustainable, cost-effective growth."

Although guarded about the scale or the details of its latest Indian investment, company spokesperson Eric Miller told that the company planned to pump over $300m (€227m) into the two new arrangements over the next eight years.

According to a company statement, this investment is "the first to span discovery and development in India," although exactly what this means could not be clarified by Miller.

As part of the first deal, Biocon, through its subsidiary Syngene International, is now building a new R&D facility in Bangalore, which upon completion will house up to 400 Biocon scientists who will provide medicinal chemistry, biology, drug metabolism, and pharmaceutical development services on behalf of BMS. Biocon and BMS already had a working relationship prior to the deal, however, no further details of the current or new arrangement, or the expected facility completion date were released by Miller for "competitive reasons."

Meanwhile, BMS has simultaneously extended its current outsourcing relationship with Accenture with a new "multi-year agreement."

Accenture will now provide services that include support for clinical data and document management, pharmacovigilance, and scientific writing as well as maintenance and support for R&D information systems from its two Life Science Centers for Excellence in Bangalore and Chennai.

No details of BMS' current relationship with Accenture or other details of the new contract were released by Miller for "competitive reasons."

BMS has made no secret of its plans to increasingly embrace a strong outsourcing strategy as it moves forward.

According to a BMS senior scientist, outsourcing has become so paramount in a pharmaceutical company's infrastructure and drug discovery strategy that it can no longer be considered an option, but has become " a strategic function asset."

These were the comments at the recent Pabord conference in London by the BMS employee, Dr Arvind Mathur, who went on to reveal that BMS currently outsources 90 per cent of its scaffold chemical structures.

"We outsource much of the non-critical intermediates, or where the in-house capacity is low," he told sister publication in an interview.

He also added that that cost-savings were no longer the dominating factor, as outsourcing has become such a specialised sector that hiring the best people for the job is now also a major drawcard for companies.

Indeed, according to a report by Kalorama Information, publishing division of, global drug development spending will top $105bn by 2010 and 40 per cent of this business is expected to be dished out in outsourcing contracts - with contract research organisations (CROs) and the like emerging triumphant.

Contract drug development spending reached $19bn in 2005 and will increase at an annual rate of 17 per cent to exceed $42bn by 2010.

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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