The drug maker is to close its Avishkar R&D centre in Bangalore, India, and move parts of its research to Great Britain.
The move that will impact 168 employees and early-stage research on tuberculosis and malaria. The decision to shut the R&D centre is said to be part of an ongoing global restructuring exercise. The pharmaceutical development projects will either be transfered to the company’s Macclesfield site in the UK or possibly be carried out by external providers. According to a statement AstraZeneca will thus no longer carry out early stage research into neglected tropical diseases, TB and malaria. However, there will be a continuance to progress AZD5847, its phase II programme for TB.
Accordingly, the employees affected by the changes will start to leave AstraZeneca at the end of April. The site is expected to close by the end of 2014. Furthermore AstraZeneca’s India commercial organisation and the clinical operations based at the Avishkar site will move to new facilities in Bangalore. Sudhir Nambiar, site head and Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development, R&D Bangalore commented: “We realise this is difficult news for our research colleagues in Bangalore and our priority is to support them over the coming months. 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.”