Company to maintain commercial and manufacturing operations in India

BANGALORE, INDIA: AstraZeneca today announced plans to close its Avishkar research and development site in Bangalore later this year. This decision is part of AstraZeneca's broader global business strategy to simplify its research and development footprint and focus resources on three core therapy areas (oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity).

The closure of the site is expected to impact 168 full-time employees who work on pharmaceutical development and drug discovery research into neglected tropical disease, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. Pharmaceutical development projects currently carried out at the site will either transfer to the company's Macclesfield site in the UK, or be carried out by external providers. The company will no longer carry out early stage research into neglected tropical diseases, TB and malaria. However, AstraZeneca will continue to progress AZD5847, its phase II programme for TB. In addition, the company's compound library will continue to be made available through open innovation partnerships and AstraZeneca will continue to provide expertise to help advance existing third-party neglected tropical diseases, malaria and TB research programmes for the benefit of patients. 

Employees affected by the changes will start to leave the company at the end of April and the site is expected to close later this year. AstraZeneca's India commercial organisation and the clinical operations, also based at the Avishkar site, will move to a new location in Bangalore later this year.

AstraZeneca employs more than 1200 people in sales, marketing and manufacturing in India and remains committed to maintaining a significant presence in the country and continuing to deliver innovative medicines to improve the lives of patients.

Sudhir Nambiar, site head and Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development, R&D Bangalore said: "We realise this is difficult news for our research colleagues in Bangalore and our priority is to support them over the coming months. We have not taken this decision lightly and acknowledge the excellent work carried out by our people in Bangalore. These changes reflect the company's strategic focus on investing in our core therapy areas and simplifying our R&D footprint."