In a reversal of the trend of moving pharmaceutical chemistry research to Asia, the drug discovery services firm Evotec has decided to close its laboratories in Thane, India, and conduct all chemistry research in Abingdon, England, instead.
Evotec didn’t encounter performance or quality problems with the Indian staff, says Evotec Chief Operating Officer Mario Polywka. “They are the most amazing organic chemists.”
Rather, Polywka says, the firm’s increasing focus on high-value collaborations—including with Harvard University and the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science—means that close involvement by the firm’s medicinal chemists with research partners is paramount.
The Indian labs’ operations will wind down by the end of September, Evotec says, putting 120 people out of work. Employment in Abingdon, where about 180 medicinal and other chemists work now, will increase, Polywka adds, although he won’t give a number.It's my assumption that this is a brief blip in the other direction and not a trend-setter at all. Brief bad news for Thane, I'm sure, good news for Abingdon, one hopes.
[Is anyone noting that it seems like the major pharmas are the ones that seem to be going to China, not India, for med chem? I wonder what that's about?]