India, a New Powerhouse of Drug Discovery Partner

Pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and other biotechnology firms face gradually rising financial pressure as research and development expenses rapidly rise, mostly because of the need for longer, larger and more complex clinical trials. This environment creates valuable outsourcing opportunities for contract research organizations in traditional clinical research and an expanding variety of other services.

A myriad of activities are currently being contracted out to external companies by the major pharmaceutical firms, and if anything, the outsourcing has been increasing rapidly in recent years and leading to a significant change in the relationship between the two. Drugmakers seek to reduce fixed costs, increase their skill base or cover gaps in capacity, thereby cementing the importance of contract research organizations such that, outsourcing an entire drug development program is a realistic option.

Contract research organizations (CROs) are outsourcing firms, vendors that undertake more precise and focused R&D functions for the pharmaceutical or biotech industry. Their specialization in certain aspects of the development process or specific therapeutic fields underscores expertise in those areas. They are more mistake proof, well experienced professionals that offer preclinical, clinical, and regulatory activities for drug development and commercialization.

Large pharmaceutical companies turn their attention to India to bridge the gap between the type of R&D that they require and the number of people at their organizations who are qualified to do it. India’s contract research organizations(CROs) have ceased to be just low-cost compound synthesizers. Over the past 15 years, Indian CROs have hoisted their flag as world class chemistry service providers. Today, the country’s top CROs are setting up labs in the West, fostering global teams, and courting biotechnology companies. The goal of their executives is nothing less than becoming integrated partners for global drugmakers and going head to head with China as the world’s powerhouse drug discovery partner.