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13 January, 2006 - 13:03 By Staff Reporter

Indian biopharma set for £5m Babraham base

Indian biopharmaceutical, iBRAIN LifeSciences plc, is to establish a £5 million research and development laboratory on the Babraham Research Campus, continuing the growing trend of direct foreign investment by Indian firms into the East of England.Indian biopharmaceutical, iBRAIN LifeSciences plc, is to establish a £5 million research and development laboratory on the Babraham Research Campus, continuing the growing trend of direct foreign investment by Indian firms into the East of England.

Business Weekly first revealed that the company, formerly known as Consortex Biological Sciences, was in discussions with East of England bioifacilitator, ERBI, about a possible move to Cambridge last year.

iBRAIN has now set out a 9-12 year plan underpinned by £5m of capital investment that could create around 35 new science jobs on the campus.

Phased over three stages, the R & D centre will provide a foundation for the creation of a technology platform in immunology and oncology.

The Hyderabad-based firm intends to move into Babraham early next year, initially acquiring around 1,000 sq ft of built up space.

iBRAIN’s focus for the first three years will be on finding targets to combat the tuberculosis bacilli and taking them through to clinical development, working closely with an unnamed partner from the Cambridge area.

The firm has indicated it will need over a dozen scientists working in different departments as it works through the process of identifying lead drug targets and optimising them for pre-clinical and clinical trials.

iBRAIN has the backing of extensive academic research facilities and will fund the programme from a combination of core promoters, government grants and private and public investors, including investment bankers.

iBRAIN also licenses its capabilities and technology to others for the discovery and development of therapeutics and the move to Babraham, one of the leading hubs within Europe’s premier biotech cluster, will enable iBRAIN to forge new and closer relationships with other locally based biotechs.

The company said: “We are open to partnering with companies having in-house R & D and companies providing tools to reduce the costs and accelerate the drug discovery and development process. We are also looking for alliances for outsourcing bioinformatics, LIMS projects, pre-clinical and clinical trials.”

iBRAIN is just the latest in a line of Indian companies that have chosen to establish major bases in the region. Last year Business Weekly revealed that Persistent Systems Pvt Ltd, which already has a modest sized local base, had plans for long-term expansion.

New Delhi’s Nestor Pharmaceuticals is also in the process of establishing a manufacturing facility in Mildenhall, Suffolk, on the old Shering-Plough site and expects to be up and running by the second quarter this year.

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