Named the Abbott Nutrition R&D Center, the facility will develop science-based, affordable nutrition products for the country and enable the expansion of Abbott's nutrition product portfolio there. The facility will be based in Biocon Park in Bangalore and is expected to open in June 2012. Syngene will provide a science-based research and innovation team to work closely with Abbott researchers, which will total over 50.
The new R&D center will focus on the development of nutrition products for maternal and child nutrition and diabetes care. Preventing undernutrition has emerged as one of the most critical health challenges in India. An estimated 50% of Indians (570 million people) are undernourished and an estimated 51 million live with diabetes. Among the products being developed for the Indian market are meal complements for diabetics and pre-diabetics. In addition, the center will address local taste and texture preferences with new flavors and formulations.
"India is a priority market for investment, growth and innovation," said Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., divisional vice president of global R&D and scientific affairs for Abbott Nutrition. "Our strategic collaboration with Syngene will accelerate the design, development and delivery of science-based, affordable nutrition products in India, for India."
The nutrition market in India is relatively new and growing steadily. In addition to the undernutrition and diabetes issues facing India, a rapidly expanding middle class and aging population are driving increased demand in the country for high-quality, affordable nutrition products.
"With malnutrition and common chronic diseases at their highest in this region, Abbott and Syngene have a common vision and commitment to support the development of a healthier India," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder, chairman and managing director of Biocon Group. "The combined market insights and nutrition science expertise of our two organizations will enable us to address these immediate needs by developing critically important, innovative yet affordable nutrition products for the Indian population."