The capacity being built is for 10,000 litres of mammalian cell cultures and 1,000 litres of microbial cell cultures for producing recombinant proteins.

Our Bureau

Mumbai, Jan.19

RELIANCE Life Sciences is setting up world-scale manufacturing facilities for bio-pharmaceutical and cell-based products at its recently completed 25-acre campus in Navi Mumbai. This will include recombinant proteins made from both microbial and mammalian cells and stem cell culture suites.

Scheduled for physical completion this year, it will be the first such facility complying with US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Evaluation Agency standards in India. Commercial production, however, will commence only by 2008, following the necessary validations by various agencies.

The capacity being built is for 10,000 litres of mammalian cell cultures and 1,000 litres of microbial cell cultures for producing recombinant proteins. There will also be about eight suites for stem cell cultures coming up at the manufacturing unit.

Investment figures or projected revenues have not been mentioned. The campus, which has been in the making for the past 18 months, has been totally home grown.

On the cards are technical and commercial tie-ups. Also on anvil would be business collaborations for presence in the global arena and making available the RLS space for contract manufacturing.

"Preventive and predictive molecular diagnostics would fundamentally change the way health care is delivered and managed," said Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, in a statement.

The RLS campus that is just completing its phase one construction, is also gearing up with a pre-clinical research facility with a full-fledged animal house. Research in this segment includes development of animal models (Parkinson's disease, diabetes and obesity), genetic characterisation of small animals and experimentation with immuno-deficient mice.

"We are also setting up a clinical research centre with a pharmacology facility comprising 102 beds and four clinics. Phase one clinical research will commence at the centre in the next six months," said Mr K. V. Subramaniam, CEO, Reliance Life Science.

Research has started yielding results. Apart from its success in cord blood cells, RLS has put in the market at least three gene-based tests for checking susceptibility to cancer.

While the first test, called BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, is to predict instances of breast cancer, the other two tests are for predicting the occurrence of thyroid carcenoma and cervical cancer.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 20, 2006)
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