AstraZeneca to close its Bangalore R&D unit
The decision to shut the R&D centre is part of an ongoing global restructuring exercise, said the company that employs over 1,200 people in India.
The decision to shut the R&D centre is part of an ongoing global restructuring exercise, said the company that employs over 1,200 people in India. The existing research will be moved to its UK facility at Macclesfield or outsourced to a third party, it said. “We realise this is difficult news for our research colleagues in Bangalore and our priority is to support them over the coming months,” Sudhir Nambiar, site head and vicepresident of pharmaceutical development at the Bangalore unit, said in a statement.
“We have not taken this decision lightly and acknowledge the excellent work carried out by our people in Bangalore. These changes reflect the company’s strategic focus on investing in our core therapy areas and simplifying our R&D footprint,” Nambiar said.
The company said the employees affected by the changes will start to leave the company by April-end and the site will be closed later this year. “AstraZeneca’s India commercial organisation and the clinical operations, also based at the Avishkar site, will move to a new location in Bangalore later this year,” the company said.
AstraZeneca has been narrowing its research targets as part of an aggressive costcutting exercise since Pascal Soriot took over as chief executive of the company in October 2012. The company had axed 1,600 jobs last year from its Alderley Park facility in Cheshire England, which was operational for over 40 years.
The company said in the statement that its future drug research will focus on oncology, cardiovascular, metabolic diseases, respiratory and inflammation, and autoimmunity, a move aimed to “simplify its research and development footprint and focus” . A dry pipeline and the patent expiry of its block buster drugs have also forced the company to reshape its business model.
In 2013, AstraZeneca posted a 17% jump in India sales at Rs 374 crore, according to All India Chemists and Druggists Association. The growth, highest among all multinational drug-makers in the country, was driven largely by its patented cardiovascular drugs such as Brilinta. Shares of Astra Zeneca lost 0.69% on Wednesday to close at Rs 751.85 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.