The plant in Bangalore, India - built with assistance from Boehringer Ingelheim - opened its doors earlier this year and recently signed its first biomanufacturing contract with a mid-size European biopharma company.
“On the pharmaceuticals side 99% of our business from our Indian facilities is with Western companies,” Kemwell’s Chairman Anurag Bagaria told us. “We hope to create a similar customer base for the biologics business.”
He added: “Our biomanufacturing facility has just commenced operations and this is the first contract. We are targeting more customers from the West based on our established track record on the pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services, quality and cost.”
Kemwell will provide tech transfer, process industrialization, scale-up, manufacturing of toxicology materials, cGMP manufacturing of clinical materials and commercial manufacturing for both drug substance and fill & finish in vials for the client, who Bagaria was unable to name due to a confidentiality agreement.
However, he said he hoped the deal would open the doorway for Western companies using the Indian contract manufacturing organization (CMO) in a similar way that the region has become a hub for the outsourcing of small molecule drugs, generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
“If you compare with the broader pharmaceutical industry, the trend is to outsource to Indian-based CMOs.” The new facility, he explained, increases the offerings available for Western companies, telling us that to his knowledge only Syngene offers biomanufacturing services in the country.
“However, Syngene’s scale of manufacturing is only up to 300L whereas our scale goes up to 2000L,” he said. “There is no other service provider in India as far as I know.”
Rumman Ahmed - a spokesperson from Syngene’s parent company Biocon - could not confirm if there were any other players in the contract biomanufacturing space in India, but did say Syngene’s clientele included 16 of the top 20 pharma companies globally.