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In January 2012, SGS opened a new life sciences laboratory in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It is SGS’ second facility in India, the first being located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
The new facility provides analytical support to the steadily expanding pharmaceutical industry in India. It is spread over an area of 15,000ft². The facility adds about 10,600ft³ of stability storage space to SGS’ operations in India.
About 20 highly trained scientific staff are currently working at the plant. In the next five years, another 90 positions are expected to be created at the facility.
New laboratory facility services
The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to carry out extractable and leachable laboratory studies.
Through the facility, SGS will provide biostatistics and data management, analytical method development and validation services, pharmacovigilance, mass spectrometry and immunoassays.
The Mumbai facility will also enable SGS to provide high-quality testing services including testing of raw materials, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished products, biopharmaceutical testing, environmental monitoring, and microbiological testing. It will also offer monograph testing, as well as stability testing as per the ICH guidelines or according to the customer specifications.
SGS Indian operations
SGS began its life sciences laboratory operations in India from Chennai in 2005. The laboratory is GMP-certified and also has ISO 17025 certification. It received the World Health Organisation’s prequalified status in 2011 to test and release drugs for treating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The facility was inspected and registered by the US FDA.
Many Indian pharmaceutical companies are now engaged in expanding their business and global presence in biosimilar products. The legal pathways involved in exporting these products to countries such as Canada, Australia, US, and European counties make it mandatory for these companies to use the kind of services provided by SGS.
SGS provides analytical support to Indian companies for the accelerated development and worldwide expansion of their businesses. Using SGS’ services, Indian companies can improve the efficiency of their drug development processes.
SGS intended to capture the growing demand for its services in the Indian pharmaceutical industry by establishing a second facility at Mumbai. The facility is also part of SGS’ global business expansion. SGS announced the construction of the second facility in May 2011. The facility’s construction was completed in 12 weeks.
Many western pharmaceutical companies who previously used the services of SGS have also established their facilities in India. SGS also provides support to these companies.
The life sciences services provided by SGS in India constitute about 2.1% of its total life sciences revenues across the world. Revenues from its Indian operations are expected to increase to about 6% by 2014.
SGS headquarters and marketing commentary
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi’s manufacturing facility in Goa, India, is located in the Verna Industrial Park. It is owned by Sanofi’s Indian arm Aventis Pharma.
SGS is a primary inspection, verification, testing and certification company with its headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland. The company has nearly 70,000 employees in 1,350 offices located across the world.
The life sciences division of the company has about 1,370 employees in 26 facilities across 14 different countries worldwide. It provides clinical research, analytical development as well as quality control testing services to pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and cosmetics companies across the world. The division has about 18 laboratories located in America, Asia and Europe. It employs more than 1,200 scientists, physicians, technicians, investigators, analysts and nurses.
In November 2010, SGS acquired M-scan Group, a leading chemical and biochemical testing provider in Europe. As part of the worldwide life sciences services expansion programme, SGS also acquired Exprimo, a Belgian life science consultancy company in July 2012. Exprimo’s application of model-based simulations in pharmaceutical development will add to SGS’ portfolio of services.
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