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Merck Millipore opens first-of-its-kind new solid dose formulation lab in India

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(From L-R) Dr. Claus-Dieter Boedecker, Managing Director and Head – Merck Millipore India; Peter Salazar, Head- Pharm Chemicals Solutions, Merck Millipore India and Dr. Dieter Lubda, Director R&D, Franchise Bioavailability Enhancement, Merck Millipore, Pharm Chemical Solutions inaugurating the Solid Dose Formulation Lab at at Nerul, Navi Mumbai

Merck Millipore India, the life sciences tools division of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, launched its new process solutions formulation lab in India, its first outside of Europe. The Lab, which is part of a larger laboratory complex, is strategically located at Nerul, Navi Mumbai, with easy accessibility from the major pharmaceutical manufacturing centers at Ahmedabad, Goa and Hyderabad.

The facilities at the lab are built to provide services and application assistance to the pharma industry for classical pharma clients working on solid dose formulations. The objective of setting up the Lab is primarily to assist clients, using advanced excipients from the Merck Millipore portfolio, with pre-formulation studies. Additionally, it will offer the possibility of inviting clients for hands-on training sessions and demonstrations of new technologies in solid dose formulation.

The formulation lab is expected to engage in a continuous exchange of technologies and experts from Merck Millipore sites across the world to bring the latest developments in excipients and technology to formulation scientists in India.

Dr Claus-Dieter Boedecker, Managing Director and Head-Merck Millipore India; Benoit Gourdier, Head of Sales Asia, Process Solutions; and Peter Salazar, Head-Pharm Chemicals Solutions, Merck Millipore India were present at the inauguration. The ceremony was followed by a lab tour and scientific lectures on the latest developments in solving bioavailability challenges and DC excipients.

In his remarks at inauguration ceremony, Dr Claus-Dieter Boedecker, Managing Director and Head – Merck Millipore India, highlighted the need for the new facility, “India is one of the largest exporters of pharma products to North America and the European region. Between 2009 and 2013 exports from India registered an average growth of 24 per cent; almost unaffected by the overall economic situation. India also has the highest number of US FDA approved facilities outside the US (323; as of March 2013) of which, most have approvals from authorities in Europe, Canada and Australia. The quality standard achieved by Indian pharma companies, however, has been overshadowed by the recent spate of quality concerns. These could adversely affect export performance going forward. Additionally, speed is of essence in the field of generics. With the new facility, Merck intends to deliver on both these parameters. Created with the needs of the industry in mind, the facilities provide service and application assistance to those working in solid dosage formulation.”

Benoit Gourdier, Head of Sales Asia, Process Solutions summarised the lab’s purpose, “The new formulation lab greatly reduces costs and helps build in-house capability. The adage, “Time is Money”, has never been more relevant than when speaking of the generic pharma industry. By setting up the formulation lab, Merck Millipore intends to sharpen its clients’ competitive edge by providing faster solutions to formulation design problems; thereby reducing costs.”

Peter Salazar, Head- Pharm Chemicals Solutions, Merck Millipore India gave an overview of the capabilities of the new formulation lab, “A large number of active drugs have problems of low solubility and low permeability. Incidentally, the majority of active ingredients under development have the same problems. These are, therefore, not only difficult to formulate, but in the absence of an appropriate technology, need to be used in high concentrations in order to be effective. Merck Millipore offers a range of solutions for these bioavailability issues through the formulation lab. With the new facilities at the lab, Merck Millipore hopes to add value to its customers by providing alternatives to customers for new application fields. Enhanced product performance studies and comparison studies can now be conducted at the lab. We will also offer hands-on training to clients in specific areas of application.”

As part of the formulation application lectures, Dr Dieter Lubda, Director R&D, Franchise Bioavailability Enhancement, Merck Millipore, Pharm Chemical Solutions presented on ‘Solving the Bioavailability Challenge: Key Success Factor of Pharmaceutical Formulations’ and Dr Finn Bauer, Associate Director, R&D, Franchise Bioavailability Enhancement/ Merck Millipore, Pharm Chemical Solutions presented on ‘DC Excipients: Benchmark Study and Cost Saving Strategy’. The ‘Voice of Consumer’ a participative panel discussion on the ‘Current Concerns of Formulation Exporters’ concluded the inauguration.

EP News Bureau Mumbai

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