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      Wyeth in $40m R&D outsourcing deal with GVK Bio

      Posted AtEconomic Times

      In yet another R&D outsourcing deal, pharma multinational Wyeth Pharmaceuticals today announced an agreement with GVK Biosciences for providing a range of research services in the synthetic chemistry area. Though the companies did not divulge the financial details of the deal, it is learnt that the total size of the deal is in the vicinity of $40m.

      As per the agreement, GVK Bio, a 50:50 pharma research services company floated by the Hyderabad-based GVK family and DS Brar, the former MD of Ranbaxy, is required to set up a dedicated discovery chemistry research site to engage about 150 synthetic chemists working exclusively for Wyeth.

      Several CROs, including some of the global ones were learnt to be in the race to bag the Wyeth deal. The deal is expected to have a minimum 5-year term.Frank Walsh, executive VP and head of discovery research at Wyeth, said the growing skill base in Asia, India’s adoption of patent laws conforming with WTO provisions coupled with the high quality of science at GVK Bio drove the decision to partner with them for this project.
      "We believe this will truly be an exciting opportunity to expand our drug discovery capabilities by accessing the ever-growing chemistry skills base in Asia," he said. GVK Bio is learnt to be in talks with a couple of European pharma companies also for striking similar contract research deals.

      Commenting on the deal, GVK Bio chairman DS Brar said the agreement with Wyeth is part of the company’s endeavour to emerge as an integrated R&D player in the pharma sector. "The agreement with Wyeth will be a milestone in our growth strategy in this direction," he said.

      As per the partnership plans, the company would commence with 30 chemists on site at Hyderabad soon, which would grow to about 150 by early ’07. The collaboration is expected to play a significant role in the small molecule drug discovery programme of the US pharma major.GVK Bio’s portfolio of services include medicinal and process chemistry, informatics, biology and clinical research.

      January 13, 2006


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