Eisai Pharmaceuticals, the ¥ billion Japanese pharmaceuticals group, is planning to open a production and research unit in India next year.
The group is expected to invest over yen 5 billion (close to $44 million) for the proposed facility, according to reports from Tokyo. Eisai's plan to set up manufacturing and research facilities in India aims at tripling its Asian sales to ¥ 60 billion ($522.9 million) by 2011, stated a Nikkei report.
Eisai, the first Japanese pharmaceuticals group to establish a wholly owned Indian subsidiary Eisai Pharmaceuticals India, has been in the domestic market with few of its generics since September last year. The company also has a co-marketing arrangement with GSK India to sell one of its anti-ulcer formulation in the country.
The proposed Indian site of Eisai will have functions ranging from production and new-drug research and development to data management that analyses and processes clinical trial data from around the world to confirm the effectiveness and safety of drug candidates, the report stated.
However, sources close to Eisai Pharmaceuticals India, said that "the Indian outfit is yet to get any official confirmation from the parent company about the investment plan in India."
The Nikkei report said the proposed Eisai project planned to supply products not only to Asia, but also the Middle East and African markets, capitalising on the technological prowess of Indian researchers as well as low production costs.
By setting up the manufacturing and R&D site in India, Eisai will also become the first Japanese drug maker in India to have a structure integrating development, production and sales.
"The company is also planning to introduce new drugs from its patent portfolio in India from 2007 onwards as part of its decision to expand business in the country," the Tokyo report quoted a senior executive of Esai.
An industry analyst, who tracks multinational drug companies in India, said that apart from setting a greenfield facility and research location, the group was also scouting for acquiring US FDA approved drug manufacturing facilities in India.
"The Japanese drug maker has identified the country as a potential sourcing base for its global market requirement and the feasibility studies are currently going on," he added.Eisai Pharmaceuticals India, which opened its corporate and marketing office in Mumbai last year, is yet to identify the location for the R&D centre and manufacturing facility in India.
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