The new state-of-the-art research and technology (R&T) centre in Hyderabad, India, was opened in August 2020. Credit: Sai Life Sciences.
It has 24 chemistry labs with 250 fume hoods. Credit: Sai Life Sciences.
Sai Life Sciences' new facility supports global pharma and biotech innovators. Credit: Sai Life Sciences.

Contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Sai Life Sciences inaugurated its new research and technology (R&T) centre in Hyderabad, India in August 2020.

The new R&T centre increases Sai’s capabilities to offer improved scientific solutions to global innovators in pharmaceutical and biotech markets, serving as the hub for the company’s integrated discovery and development services.

Inauguration of the facility marked the completion of the first phase of a more than $150m investment plan between 2019 and 2023 under Sai Nxt, an organisation-wide initiative designed to turn the company into a new generation CDMO.

Sai Nxt focuses on upgrading the company’s R&D and manufacturing facilities, boost automation and data systems and improve safety and quality levels.

In January 2020, Sai started hiring more than 300 scientists with expertise in synthetic organic or analytical chemistry and experience in pharma R&D. The roles being filled through the recruitment are in areas of process R&D, analytical R&D, biology, DMPK, and toxicology.

Location of Sai Life Sciences’ new research and technology (R&T) centre

Spanning 83,000ft², the new research and technology centre is located adjacent to Sai’s current R&D facility in Genome Valley, Hyderabad, in the state of Telangana. Life science is a major focus area of the Telangana state government.

Design and features of new research and technology (R&T) centre

Sai Life Sciences’ new research and technology (R&T) centre is designed as an innovation corridor, with the arterial corridor running through the building providing the space for collaboration between different cross-functional teams.

The facility features an aesthetic environment developed with green spaces to allow scientists to work in a comfortable setting.

The workspaces are designed to consolidate work areas, and comfortable meeting spaces to create an atmosphere suitable for research.

Details and specifications of Sai Life Sciences’ new R&T centre

The R&T centre houses state-of-the-art research capabilities and advanced platforms.

It includes 24 chemistry labs with 250 fume hoods, analytical laboratories, a fully configured technology suite, and a dedicated in-house process safety lab.

Each lab is designed with intelligent and ergonomic lab design with logical workflows and is self-sufficient with dedicated analytical support and compliant storage capacity. The customised fume cupboards enable the labs to conduct specific chemistries while maintaining global safety requirements.

Intelligent features are intended to increase safety and productivity and support Sai in expediting the delivery of complex chemical synthesis to its clients.

All process R&D labs at the facility are equipped with advanced automation to allow seamless online data collection during process development.

The data is used as the basis for accelerated and precise scale-up using software such as DynoChem and Aspen.

“The facility features an aesthetic environment developed with green spaces to allow scientists to work in a comfortable setting.”

The centre employs a lean approach, using the 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardise, sustain) technique and other methods to increase productivity in labs and reduce the wastage of time and resources. The initiative also helped achieve other improvements such as better planning of drills, standardised labware storage, and timely delivery of process development milestones.

An analytical laboratory is co-located as part of each process chemistry lab under the ‘Satellite Analytical Lab’ concept, which supports greater chemical-analyst interactions and online analytical assistance for ongoing experiments.

Platform technologies at the new R&T centre include flow reactors, bio and chemo catalyst screening, molecular distillation, particle engineering tools, separation technologies, continuous extraction, and photochemical reactors.

Innovative technologies help to improve the product development quality in many applications including ensuring safety and scalability of hazardous processes, enhancing API bioavailability, as well as developing greener and selective processes.

Marketing commentary on Sai Life Sciences

Sai Life Sciences is one of India’s fastest-growing, full-service CDMOs. It aims to assist the launch of 25 new medicines by 2025.

It partners with global pharmaceutical and biotech firms, providing support for the discovery, development, and production of complex small molecules.

The company served more than 100 molecules of drugs across various clinical phases, including 18 molecules in commercial stage and nine in Phase III trials.

Its manufacturing and R&D facilities successfully passed USFDA and PMDA inspections.

Over the last few months, Sai Life Sciences increased its cGMP API and intermediate manufacturing capacity by 172KL. The company already opened a biology lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, and is establishing a process R&D lab in Manchester, UK.