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Indian packager Bilcare acquires US unit

By Phil Taylor , 23-Aug-2005

India's Bilcare Ltd, a research-based pharmaceutical packaging solutions company, has acquired ProClinical of the US in a deal the company says takes it 'closer to achieving its vision of becoming the world leader in the pharmaceutical packaging industry by 2010'.

Bilcare claims to be the first Indian packaging company to invest in the US market, and is India's largest pharmaceuticals packaging company.

ProClinical is a Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical services and packaging company, and operates a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved facility that is also Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) licensed for handling controlled substances schedule I - V.

The pharmaceutical services offered by ProClinical are pre/formulation research & development, analytical services including development, clinical batch manufacturing and packaging, distribution of clinical supplies including an interactive voice response system that helps clinical trial managers increase their efficiency in enrolling subjects and managing materials. It has also developed a child-resistant, senior-friendly blistercard packaging system known as 'Pick and Peel'. It employs 40 staff.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mohan Bhandari, chairman and managing director of Bilcare, said the acquisition strengthens the firm's 'footprint' in the US. Bilcare has been making efforts to broaden its presence in the pharmaceutical sector, and the ProClinical transaction "provides Bilcare entry into the world's largest pharmaceuticals market through an established organization with an enviable roster of existing clients," he added.

ProClinical's client roster includes top-tier drugmakers such as Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Takeda and Merck, as well as more than 100 high-growth biotech companies such as Genzyme and Progenics.

Bilcare says it is the only company in India focused on providing packaging solutions solely for the pharmaceutical industry, offering solutions using polymers/plastics, paper and aluminum. It has shown rapid sales growth over the last few years, with revenues swelling from 321 million rupees (€6m) in 2000 to 1.03 billion rupees in 2004.

The company already operates manufacturing facilities in Pune, India, and Singapore.

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