MUMBAI and BANGALORE, India, May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT), one of India's largest health care companies, today announced plans to establish its first nutrition research and development center in the country in collaboration with Syngene, India's leading contract research organization. The Abbott Nutrition R&D Center in India will focus on the development of science-based, affordable nutrition products for the country and enable the expansion of Abbott's nutrition product portfolio there.
Abbott selected Syngene – a subsidiary of Biocon, the largest biotech company in India – to provide a science-based research and innovation team to work closely with Abbott researchers. More than 50 researchers and scientists will be based at the Abbott Nutrition R&D Center in India at Biocon Park in Bangalore, which is expected to open in June 2012.
The new R&D center will focus on the development of nutrition products for maternal and child nutrition and diabetes care. Preventing undernutrition has emerged as one of the most critical health challenges in India. An estimated 50 percent of Indians (570 million people) have adequate calorie intake but are not consuming a sufficient level of essential nutrients.(1) India also has the world's largest diabetes population, with an estimated 51 million people living with diabetes.(2) Among the products being developed for the Indian market are meal complements for diabetics and pre-diabetics. In addition, the center will address local taste and texture preferences with new flavors and formulations.
"India is a priority market for investment, growth and innovation," said Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., divisional vice president, Global R&D and Scientific Affairs for Abbott Nutrition. "Our strategic collaboration with Syngene will accelerate the design, development and delivery of science-based, affordable nutrition products in India, for India."
"Health care in India has reached a tipping point as patients seek quality care and products at affordable prices," said Rehan Khan, managing director, Abbott Nutrition India. "We have consistently invested in India, and this world-class R&D center will allow us to leverage local expertise and insights to develop the products we need to successfully expand our portfolio here."
The nutrition market in India is relatively new and growing steadily. In addition to the undernutrition and diabetes issues facing India, a rapidly expanding middle class and aging population are driving increased demand in the country for high-quality, affordable nutrition products.
"With malnutrition and common chronic diseases at their highest in this region, Abbott and Syngene have a common vision and commitment to support the development of a healthier India," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder, chairman and managing director, Biocon Group. "The combined market insights and nutrition science expertise of our two organizations will enable us to address these immediate needs by developing critically important, innovative yet affordable nutrition products for the Indian population."
Commenting on the collaboration, Peter Bains, director, Syngene & Clinigene, said, "We are extremely delighted to partner with Abbott for this synergistic collaboration for its nutrition business. Our objective will be to develop new products for Abbott's nutrition portfolio. This symbolizes Syngene's growing capability to offer science-based research and development solutions across a wide range of life science platforms."
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott currently employs more than 12,000 people throughout India.
Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com.
About Abbott Nutrition
For more than 85 years, Abbott Nutrition has been developing and marketing science‑based pediatric and adult nutritional products to support the growth, health and well-being of people of all ages. Abbott offers a variety of nutritional products in India including PediaSure® (complete, balanced nutrition for children), Similac® (infant milk formula for infants and children), Mama's Best® (nutritional supplement for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers), Ensure® (adult nutritionals), Glucerna® (nutrition for people with diabetes) and Prosure® (nutrition for people with cancer).
About Biocon Limited
Biocon Limited (BSE code: 532523, NSE Id: BIOCON, ISIN Id: INE376G01013) is India's premier biopharma enterprise focused on innovation to deliver affordable health care solutions to patients, partners and health care systems across the globe. Established in 1978 by Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon is committed to reduce therapy costs of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases to provide access to affordable treatment to patients globally. Biocon's key innovations include the world's first Pichia-based recombinant human Insulin, INSUGEN®, insulin analog Glargine, BASALOG® and India's first indigenously produced monoclonal antibody, BioMAb-EGFR®, for head & neck cancer. INSUPen® is a next-generation affordable insulin delivery device introduced in India. With a risk-balanced business model comprising small molecules, novel molecules, biosimilars, branded formulations and research services, Biocon has evolved into an emerging global enterprise serving its partners and customers in over 70 countries.
About Syngene International Limited
Syngene is India's leading contract research organization offering integrated drug discovery and development services with capabilities in medicinal chemistry, biology, in vivo pharmacology, toxicology, custom synthesis, process Research and Development, and formulation development for small and large molecules. Syngene has an expert team of over 1,500 scientists and 1 million sq. ft. of built-up laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure to support the Research and Development programs of global pharma, biotech and nutrition companies. More information is available at www.syngeneintl.com.
(1) Ernest & Young, "Nutraceuticals: Critical supplement for building a healthy India," 2009, p. 7, http://ficci-nutraceuticals.com/files/Nutraceuticals_Final_Report.pdf, accessed April 2012.
(2) World Diabetes Foundation, "Diabetes Facts," World Diabetes web site, http://www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org/composite-35.htm, accessed April 2012.