The lab instrumentation giant started construction on a new $17m (€12m) facility in Ahmadabad this week from which it will provide clinical trial sample packaging, global distribution and logistics management services. The company said it plans to have the new 100,000-square-foot facility operational by next year's third quarter, after which point it will hire 100 employees within 12 months. Thermo has been opportunistic in grabbing itself a foothold on the burgeoning Indian biopharma scene over the past few years. It has set up sales and manufacturing facilities to support growing markets as they spring up in the country, including biopharma services, biospecimen storage, life sciences research and industrial processing. The company also recently bought Mumbai-based Qualigens Fine Chemicals, India's largest laboratory chemical manufacturer and supplier. So providing clinical services operations is just another area of opportunity that the firm has spied in the region. The firm already runs these services out of site in the US, Europe and Asia. "Large pharmaceutical companies are focusing more and more on India for their future clinical research and development programs," said Marijn Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo. "They are looking to outsource their clinical trials management to partners who know how to work within changing regional and global clinical trial regulations. By expanding our capacity to serve the needs of both multinational and local pharmaceutical companies, we will be able to bring a higher level of technology, quality and expertise to facilitate clinical trials." Meanwhile, Thermo has been building its pharma logistics clout in other regions also. Last month it bought a US-based third party logistics (3PL) provider in a bid to boost its burgeoning biopharma services business. The new addition, Priority Solutions International, provides a range of pharmaceutical 3PL services to 500 cities worldwide, including shipment of clinical and commercial drug samples, patient supplies to doctors, warehousing and order fulfillment. "This acquisition brings tremendous logistics expertise and an infrastructure to our existing outsourcing services that strengthens our ability to deliver pharmaceutical supplies to the right people at the right time - anywhere in the world", said Dekkers. Thermo's biopharma services unit provides the packaging and delivery of clinical trial samples to patients and sites and Dekkers indicated that he expects the Priority purchase to make this business more attractive to biopharma customers, who are "increasingly looking to outsource clinical trials management".