Abbott, one of India's largest health care companies, today announced plans to establish its first nutrition research and development center in the country in collaboration with Syngene, India's leading contract research organization. The Abbott Nutrition R&D Center in India will focus on the development of science-based, affordable nutrition products for the country and enable the expansion of Abbott's nutrition product portfolio there.
Abbott selected Syngene - a subsidiary of Biocon, the largest biotech company in India - to provide a science-based research and innovation team to work closely with Abbott researchers. More than 50 researchers and scientists will be based at the Abbott Nutrition R&D Center in India at Biocon Park in Bangalore, which is expected to open in June 2012.
The new R&D center will focus on the development of nutrition products for maternal and child nutrition and diabetes care. Preventing undernutrition has emerged as one of the most critical health challenges in India. An estimated 50 percent of Indians (570 million people) have adequate calorie intake but are not consuming a sufficient level of essential nutrients.1 India also has the world's largest diabetes population, with an estimated 51 million people living with diabetes.2 Among the products being developed for the Indian market are meal complements for diabetics and pre-diabetics. In addition, the center will address local taste and texture preferences with new flavors and formulations.
"India is a priority market for investment, growth and innovation," said Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., divisional vice president, Global R&D and Scientific Affairs for Abbott Nutrition. "Our strategic collaboration with Syngene will accelerate the design, development and delivery of science-based, affordable nutrition products in India, for India."
"Health care in India has reached a tipping point as patients seek quality care and products at affordable prices," said Rehan Khan, managing director, Abbott Nutrition India. "We have consistently invested in India, and this world-class R&D center will allow us to leverage local expertise and insights to develop the products we need to successfully expand our portfolio here."
The nutrition market in India is relatively new and growing steadily. In addition to the undernutrition and diabetes issues facing India, a rapidly expanding middle class and aging population are driving increased demand in the country for high-quality, affordable nutrition products.
"With malnutrition and common chronic diseases at their highest in this region, Abbott and Syngene have a common vision and commitment to support the development of a healthier India," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder, chairman and managing director, Biocon Group. "The combined market insights and nutrition science expertise of our two organizations will enable us to address these immediate needs by developing critically important, innovative yet affordable nutrition products for the Indian population."
Commenting on the collaboration, Peter Bains, director, Syngene & Ciinigene, said, "We are extremely delighted to partner with Abbott for this synergistic collaboration for its nutrition business. Our objective will be to develop new products for Abbott's nutrition portfolio. This symbolizes Syngene's growing capability to offer science-based research.and development solutions across a wide range of life science platforms."