Evonik Steps Up Pharmaceutical Research in India

28 Dec 2007 • by Natalie Aster

Essen, Germany based Evonik Industries AG has vigorously expanded the R&D center that it opened just five years ago in Mumbai, India. The complex will also house the offices for the regional management of the Group's 11 business units active on the Indian subcontinent, a region that includes Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. "By making this move, we're addressing the rapid growth of the Indian pharmaceuticals market, from which our business has profited immensely in the past years," said Dr. Alfred Oberholz, member of Evonik Industries AG's Executive Board. "With our innovation and know-how, we're well prepared to have a share of this growth, both now and in the years to come."

India is a major cornerstone for Evonik's Pharma Polymers

The Mumbai R&D center, which also accommodates the technical service and marketing departments of Pharma Polymers, a business line of the Specialty Acrylics Business Unit, has in the last few years become one of the major cornerstones of the global EUDRAGIT® polymers business. After the United States, India ranks second worldwide in both the number of pharmaceutical factories and the production of so-called generic drugs. Containing the same active ingredient, a generic drug is a no-name imitation of a brand-name drug that already exists on the market and whose patent has expired.

Laboratory space for Pharma Polymers doubled

In its laboratory space, which has been enlarged from about 600 to 1,200 square meters, Pharma Polymers will develop EUDRAGIT® formulations and drug delivery technologies such as EUDRAMODE® for customers the world over. EUDRAGIT®, a neutral-tasting coating, ensures that the active ingredients of drugs are released in the human body at the right place and at the right time. This is made possible by specialty polymers, which function as pharmaceutically neutral excipients and are used in the form of a white powder, clear granules, or a milky liquid. So-called delayed-release medicines, which release the active ingredient in a steady dose over several hours, are becoming increasingly important. The drug is tolerated better because it is released evenly, and instead of having to take the drug several times a day, a patient need take only one tablet daily. To this end, Pharma Polymers has developed EUDRAMODE®, a technology platform with which pharmaceutical companies can precisely adjust the release profile for a

host of active ingredients.

The enlarged laboratory's equipment includes fluidized bed coating units and drum coaters, tablet presses and dryers, and analytical capabilities for testing disintegration, resistance to breaking, hardness, and stability. At its improved site, Pharma Polymers plans to support its customers in the hot-melt extrusion segment, too, and to offer seminars and training.

Evonik Industries' Chemicals Business Area currently employs 350 people in India, who generate more than €100 million in sales revenues. As a technology leader in specialty chemicals, Evonik's Chemicals Business Area has a total of 35 research and development centers worldwide, among other places, in Tokyo, Japan; and Shanghai, China; as well as in Piscataway, New Jersey, USA, and at several sites in Germany.

Source: Evonik Industries AG