The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that cancer rates will increase markedly over the next few decades and cause the death of 11.4 million people in 2030. As a result the demand for effective treatments, and therefore oncology APIs, is set to increase considerably. The deal, which was reported in The Economic Times, is also a further indication of the strength of India's booming contract research and manufacturing service (CRMS) sector. This trend looks set to continue with CRMSs in the region being used by big pharma firms to provide both production capacity and, increasingly, drug development services. Oncology APIs Benzochem's primary focus is the manufacture of API's for pharmaceutical companies in the oncology sector. The firm has filed various US and European drug master filed applications for a wide range of cancer drug actives. Benzochem's oncology API site, in Tarapur, houses several reactor units, ranging in size from 50 to 5,000 liters and has separate intermediates manufacturing suites for the production of bulk APIs and two stations capable of manufacturing kilo quantities of APIs. The facility also has four production lines that are capable of producing cytotoxic or high potency APIs with total containment and properly segregated air and physical systems. In addition, Benzochem owns a niche API manufacturing plant in Tarapur that offers a broad array of chemical reactors that are designed to provide the flexibility to produce a wide range of actives for industrial clients. New therapeutic areas In purchasing a majority stake in Benzochem, Arch has also gained acces to the former's 50,000 Sq meters quinine manufacturing facility in Mahad. The plant consists of separate buildings for extraction and final molecule production. Late last year, Arch signed a multi-year agreement with DSM Anti-Infectives to manufacture generic APIs Under the terms of that agreement, DSM will develop undisclosed "non infringing novel processes" to produce APIs, using its technology in-house biocatalysis, fermentation and chemical conversion. DSM will then transfer these molecules to Arch for commercial development at its manufacturing facilities in Guargon, New Delhi.